I attended Kindergarten at Allen Christian School on Merrick Boulevard in the St. Albans area of Queens, NY. Of my first day, my sister and I walked into the classroom, we met our teacher, her assistant, and a fresh box of Legos were opened for the new students to play with. In my mind, I can still recall the face of one of the plastic figures in that play set. If that was September 1990, my mother and I were both across the street from 31 years old when our children first started “real” school.
Cydney began kindergarten last Tuesday. On Labor Day, her excitement was on level 12. I was surprised at how easy it was to get her ready for bed that evening.
My little girl woke up the next morning, bright eyed, and adrenaline rushing. Both she and my nephew were ecstatic about the first day. My boy is starting fifth grade; and it is the only year that both Cydney and he will be enrolled at the same institution. My mother, sister, and I walked the block-and-a-half to their elementary school.
I lined up with Cydney in front of the entrance where Kindergarten enters. There was a nervous anticipation in the eyes and faces of the teachers, students, and parents. Moms and dads looked at their five and six year olds with pride as they took pictures with their phones. You could see that every parent was in their feelings. Someone probably wept in their car.
I wasn’t very emotional about Cydney beginning Kindergarten; but the day was surreal. A little over six years to the day, Cydney’s mother and I packed up all of our belongings and cats, and drove from Atlanta to New York with five heartbeats in a U-Haul. Life is extremely different from what Timile Brown and I imagined what our little London Milner’s-that was the original name we agreed on for Cydney-life would be like. The eighteen month year old I decided to share with the world was at a big-kid school.
When school let out at 3pm, my mother and I greeted Cyd at her teacher’s door. The first thing that the instructor said to me is “Cydney is hilarious and has a lot of personality! I’m going to have to stay on my toes with this one.” All my mother and I could do was laugh because that was a very accurate statement. We chuckled and Cydney began to yell about how amazing her day was.
The second and third days of school went off without a hiccup. Friday started off like Tuesday through Thursday; until I picked her up. I was greeting to a tears and a weeping daughter. Cydney’s teacher in a very un-alarmed tone told me that there was a little girl drama between my daughter and another child. I could help but chuckle because that sounded about right. The adults knew that everything would be just fine and blow over by Monday morning; but the girls acted as if it was the end of the world. The other little girl involved was bawling and wanted her dad.
During the whole five minute trip home, Cydney sniffled and told me that her new-and-former-friend was upset and it was her fault. I inquired about what happened and Cyd said she didn’t remember. Eventually, my child told me that the little girl said she didn’t want to be Cydney’s friend anymore. “You don’t need to be my friend anymore. You can just be free and play by yourself!” I was too proud. At five years old, Cydney Moriah Milner knows how to shut shit down. This apple didn’t fall far at all.
It’s a brand new week. I am all but certain that the two little girls will be friends again. Cyd excitedly skipped to the line to resume school. As she walked in the door, I told her “Have a good day!” She waved back and said “Okay!”