Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal

Blink

Hannah Dills


“But, Mom,” I said, walking slowly beside her in my new velcro school shoes. “I’m worried that kindergarten won’t be fun.”

She squeezed my hand tighter and said, “Don’t worry. Kindergarten will be tons of fun. You’ll meet new friends, and paint, and sing, and learn to read. You’ll love it.”

“But what if the kids don’t like me?” I asked, as I scuffed at the brown leaves across the sidewalk. My little brother kicked at the leaves as he walked behind me. He always did everything just like me.

“They’ll love you,” she said, as she pushed my new pack of crayons into my backpack. The zipping sound made it so final. We had walked clear to the school.

“But, how do you know?” I asked, looking at the glass doors on the front of the big, brick building.

“Because they’ll see all the things I see in you,” she said in her nice way, but her voice sounded kinda funny. She leaned down and hugged me and pushed her lips against my cheek for a long minute, then she spun me toward the door and said, “Don’t worry. You should be excited. School will be fun. You’ll see.”

As I started to walk toward those doors, my little brother ran behind me and tugged at my new backpack. He gave me a hug, too. Mom came and got him and carried him away with her.

I walked through those doors, and found my classroom. My teacher showed me where to hang my new backpack and had me play a game with the other kids in a circle to learn each other’s names. We painted pumpkins for the windows in the fall, stuck snowballs together to make snowmen in the winter, colored hearts red on Valentines in the spring, and searched for four-leaf clovers during recess in the summer. Somewhere along the way, I learned to read, sing songs, and tie my own shoes. It seemed that one day I blinked, and it was time to pack up my backpack. It was time to walk home.

Down the hill, I raced my friend home. We jumped over the yellow flowers to take a short cut. I was glad to see the red sign that read ‘stop’ where the race would be over. I had to bend over to lace my shoes, and when I looked up, I saw my mom and brother waiting under the ‘Tree Line Court’ street sign.

“Hi,” my little brother yelled.

“Hey,” I called back to him. I swung my backpack off and handed it to my mom. She leaned down to hug me, but I said, “Mom, when I’m near my friends, you can just wave.”

“Oh. Okay,” she said. Then, she stood up and grabbed my backpack with the broken zipper to carry it for me. She peeked inside to see the fish picture I had colored with the rest of my crayons that day.

“My teacher says we won’t have to come back to kindergarten anymore. I’ll start first grade next year,” I told her.

Mom rumpled my hair and said, “We have all summer before we have to worry about first grade.”

“I’m not worried. I’m excited. First grade will be fun.”

That made my mom blink.

***

Hannah Dills has been writing creatively since she was eight years old. She won regional writing competitions in junior high school, which fueled her dreams to become a published author. In addition to being a full-time mom, she writes children's stories and romance novels, and she is a member of the Romance Writers of America and the Barnes & Noble Writers' Group.

© Hannah Dills

Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal ISSN 1554-8449, Copyright © 2004-2012