What goes up… must come down.

Ben started third grade today. Ben. The squalling, purple-turbaned, red-faced infant that slid into this world all covered in uterine slime a mere 8 years ago. Yeah. That Ben.

Yet, this morning (after his Focalin kicked in) he finished getting dressed, brushed his teeth without being yelled at and packed his backpack with his first ever 3-ring binder before sitting down to wait until it was time to leave. He had 10 minutes to spare. Sweet!

His new teacher is Mrs. Stiles. She was a 2nd grade teacher last year. Ben was a bit disappointed in that at first. “I got a 2nd grade teacher?”, he complained. This while we looked at the lists of classes posted on the school doors. Do you remember doing that? The excitement of rushing to school on Friday to see who’s class you were in and if any of your friends were in that class too? Flashback.

Anyway, all disappointment was gone as we entered his classroom today. Mrs. Stiles gave him a giant hug and told him how happy she was to have him in her class. “I was hoping and hoping all summer.” she said, “Please, let me get Ben. Please let me get Ben.” She looked to me and explained, “I had Ben for science last year. It was great. We both love science!”

Ben was all smiles and happily off to find his assigned seat – in the back row of the class. What a compliment. I had to explain to Ben that the teachers only put a certain type of student in the last row. Good students. Ones who don’t get in trouble. Students that don’t need to be babysat all day. By placing him there Mrs. Stiles was letting him know how much she trusted him.

What a far cry from our Kindergarten / First grade years. The pre-medicated years.

Here is my big, trustworthy 3rd grader.

Then he came home from school and went to the rope swing down the street. The rope got stuck. Through his tears he tells me how he climbed the tree and had it all planned out. Ugh. My stomach drops. I knew what he’d done. I looked him over from head to toe, the entire front of his body covered in a thick dusting of silty dirt. There were clean streaks down his cheeks and muddy spots under each nostril then smeared across his upper lip from his tears and running nose. He was holding his forearm immobile.

“You didn’t jump for the rope, did you? Oh no, Ben.” At my question the dam breaks, he sobs that he thinks his wrist is broken. Apparently, Tarzan he is not.

He also is not broken. I do think he is bent fairly well, however. Two hours post free-fall he felt well enough to go to the store with Daddy-O to get an ace bandage and be fitted for a sling.

And so begins the third grade.


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