Elizabeth has been happy as a clam these first few weeks at Hope Academy. I, on the other hand, have been so nervous. It’s like dropping a shrinky-dink off at school. Upon waking in the morning, she appears to be of normal size, but as soon as she hops out of the van and walks into that huge building she begins to shrink, shrink, shrink before my very eyes.
To my relief, she is undisturbed by the shrinky phenomenon. At the end of the first day when I asked her how her day was and she punched her shrunken fist into the air and shouted, “GREAT!” Only the next morning, when we were drinking coffee together, she casually mentioned that she had gotten lost that first day.
“My group was supposed to walk to Mr. Watkins’s class, and the group began to run. I knew we weren’t supposed to run, so I kept walking, but then they turned the corner and I couldn’t find the group. So I just stood still and cried until another teacher found me and returned me to Mr. Watkins, ” She explained calmly.
“Well, I am proud of you for being brave and having a great day, even though you got lost,” I replied.
To which she sat straight up, pointing her finger to the ceiling, and called out in a surprising Brittish accent, “I will find Mr. Watkins’s class if I have to walk to the end of the world!”
I think the British accent and the bravery are probably both little gifts from C.S. Lewis. Dan is three books into Narnia, having deviated from the bedtime reading of Laura Ingalls Wilder due to his inability to stay awake through his own reading.
Kathy Harty (cousin on my neighbor Patty’s side), knowing of my recent failed Middlemarch attempt (my second), brought me an encouraging article by David Brooks in which he confesses it took him three attempts to finish Middlemarch. At the end of the article he says: “Books give you vocabularies and frameworks to help you understand and decide…” Not to mention a British accent!
Narnia….first grade…both grand adventures featuring a little girl going bravely into the unknown.
Below: Elizabeth’s self-portrait, drawn as a gift for Miss P. When I saw it I felt very glad that I commissioned our four foot by four foot family portrait, when Elizabeth was in, shall we say, a more primitive state of art. I just don’t know if I could cook supper with six sets of googly eyes staring sideways at me.