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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Ready, Set, Go

"He's not ready. I know this, but still..."

My husband and I are at the dining room table. He's eating what is for him a late supper, it being nearly eight o'clock. I haven't asked, but I'm betting the traffic from Charlotte was horrendous. And so I sit across from him, keeping him company by neurotically and lengthily second-guessing keeping the youngest out of kindergarten for a year of Readiness.

And I do know the youngest isn't ready. Not only would he be on the younger side chronologically, having just turned five this month, he is small physically, still prone to the strong emotions of the age of four he just left, and he tires quickly. All day kindergarten would be the worst thing for him. It would set him up to fail. He would no doubt be held back and rightly so. I know all these things, but still.

"Come here, please," my husband calls out to the youngest, who just at that moment is passing by on his way to the den. The youngest gallops over and beams at the big guy.

"What, Daddy?"

"Hold up your left hand... Now bend it over the very top of your head... Nono, not around the back, RIGHT over the top. Now reach down as far as you can. Very good! OK, see?"

This last question is directed at me. I'm not sure what exactly I'm supposed to see.

"Thank you, sweetheart, you can go."

The youngest gallops out, his slippers slapping against the floor.

"What was I supposed to see?"

"Did you see how his left hand didn't reach his ear?"


"In Mexico, when I was growing up, that was how they used to check for entry into school. To see if you were old enough. He's not."

I reach my own left arm over the top of my head and easily touch my right ear.

"Congratulations, honey. You're ready for school."

My husband's eyes twinkle in amusement.

"But he's not," I say decisively.

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