(all of us)

 Climbing the lilac

First day of camp. A little nervous (all of us).

One of the teachers is a friend of Beren's. He's been drawn to her, the times they've met each other. Rightfully so, she's smart, kind, thoughtful, and quiet.

Recently, Jared searched for words to describe someone he had just met. "Quiet," he said. "But not meek." "Reserved?" I asked. "No..." We batted a few adjectives around. Nothing really fit. I hadn't met her anyway.

There are few words for quiet people that cover the range of types of quiet. Even fewer words lack a slightly negative connotation.

"HI! HOW ARE YOU?" a very nice, loud person might address my (quiet) son (or me as a kid). No answer. "OH. I GUESS YOU'RE SHY." I guess you're not, very nice, loud person.

I trailed Jared and Beren around the classroom. "Look interested. Check out some stuff here," Jared coached me. I must have looked stricken. I'd been tearful just a few moments before.

A friendly and kind teacher addressed Beren, and he leaned back into my legs. She talked to him for a few minutes. He was silent.

We made our way to a table where several children were shaping play dough. "Would you like some?" Beren's teacher-friend asked. His hands became busy.

I drifted to the entryway, and Jared stayed awhile at the table. One of the teachers said, "The first day can be tough..." She continued with kind, thoughtful words, and I wondered if she was addressing my feelings or Beren's. "Soon he'll run through the door to be here." I guess I looked ok.

We left the building. "Maybe I'll go back and look," Jared said. He came back shortly. "I didn't look. If Beren would have seen me..."

Beren had a fine time. When we picked him up, he was purposefully stacking blocks back in place with other children as clean up music played. "He had a good day. Got along well with other children. He's very helpful."

A couple years ago we tried out a school situation for Beren. It didn't work. Luckily, we recognized that quickly and had other options. Lately, we've seen signs that he'd be ready for something like this, and we felt ready, too. Tearful (me, not Beren), but ready (all of us).

Summer is so sweet. So many changes. So much exuberant growth. I want to hang on to that little kid forever. Forever and ever.