Mom, I said, walking slowly beside her in my new velcro
school shoes. Im worried that kindergarten wont
squeezed my hand tighter and said, Dont worry. Kindergarten
will be tons of fun. Youll meet new friends, and paint,
and sing, and learn to read. Youll love it.
what if the kids dont 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.
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.
how do you know? I asked, looking at the glass doors on
the front of the big, brick building.
theyll 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, Dont
worry. You should be excited. School will be fun. Youll
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 others 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.
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.
my little brother yelled.
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
Im near my friends, you can just wave.
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
teacher says we wont have to come back to kindergarten anymore.
Ill start first grade next year, I told her.
rumpled my hair and said, We have all summer before we have
to worry about first grade.
not worried. Im excited. First grade will be fun.
made my mom blink.
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.