First Day

September 18, 2016
By LenaHartsough GOLD, San Francisco, California
LenaHartsough GOLD, San Francisco, California
11 articles 0 photos 0 comments

“So how was your first day of kindergarten, Devin?”
Five-year-old Devin and his family were just finishing dinner after the first day of school when Devin’s father asked this important question. Devin thought hard for a moment before answering his father. “It was okay. The teacher isn’t pretty, and she thinks we’re stupid. And some of the kids are actually stupid. Like really, really stupid.”
His mother looked shocked. “Devin! You shouldn’t say things like that! And what have we said about saying bad words?”
Devin shrugged. “It’s true, though!” He didn’t see what was so bad about what he said. His parents always told him to tell the truth, but then they got mad when he did. “And Elliot said that stupid’s not a bad word. He said that bad words were words like—”
“That’s okay, sweetie, you don’t have to tell us,” his mother said hurriedly. “I’m sure Elliot said those things. But you will not say any bad words, including the one you used.” She glared at her husband, who was trying to hold back snickers.
“What?” he asked. “The kid was just telling the truth.”
Devin nodded. “Yeah! And they made us take naps. You said that I wouldn’t have to nap anymore once I got to be a big boy. Aren’t I a big boy now?”
His mother seemed stuck for a moment. She sent a glance at his father, and Devin c***ed his head. “Of—Of course you’re a big boy, Devin,” his mother stuttered. “It’s just that—well, in kindergarten, we take naps. Because—some of the kids aren’t ready to not have naps yet. Of course, we know that you’re ready, but they don’t know that.” She nodded firmly, seeming satisfied with her answer. “That’s why you still have to have naps.”
Devin crossed his arms, unable to stop the pout from creeping its way onto his face. “But I don’t want to nap. It’s not fair.”
His father ruffled his hair. “Life’s not fair, kiddo.”
Devin hated it when adults did this. It made him feel like they weren’t listening to him. And if life wasn’t fair, than how did the rich people get rich? He had asked his father this on multiple occasions, and was always met with an uneasy chuckle and change of subject.
Sighing, the young boy looked down at his mostly eaten food and mumbled. “So yeah. It was okay.”
He picked up his plate and cleared it, hearing behind him, “What’s going on in that big mind of his?”
His mother sighed. “I don’t know. I wish I could tell.”

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