Cherishing these happy cozy days with son
Snip. Buzz. Snip, snip. Buzz.
I watch as Blake at the Riah Salon in Spindale carefully tames my son’s mop of cowlicks into something more manageable. The salon is filled with women getting their hair done, and almost all of them are paying attention to the lone 5-year-old in the room. Their friendly murmurs of “Adorable” and “Just precious” turn Sage pink with embarrassment.
They make me beam.
Blake swivels Sage in the chair so that he’s facing me. “Now you can see your Mama,” says a woman sitting nearby with curlers in her hair.
After the haircut, it’s time to make good on the bribe that persuaded Sage to get it. We head over on foot to where a cotton candy and snow cone vendor has set up shop by the car wash.
When I see how big the bags of pink and blue cotton candy are, I immediately have visions of a child spinning like the Tasmanian devil the rest of the afternoon. I ask the vendor if he doesn’t have a smaller size.
Oh, well. At least it only costs $2.
On our way to the library, a teenage girl walking in our direction stops to ask how much the bag of cotton candy cost.
I pounce. “Only a couple of dollars, but please — take the biggest handful you possibly can out of this bag!”
She hesitates for the briefest of moments. But because this is Rutherford County, where even a stranger is somehow a familial entity, ultimately she reaches into the bag and takes out a good-sized handful.
Sage and I end up spending the rest of afternoon at the library. We re-read old favorites like “Curious George” and “Arthur’s First Sleepover” and of course, the book about concrete mixers.
Later in the week it rains and rains. And then it rains some more.
Out come the Legos. I sit with Sage in his room and watch how absorbed he is with connecting the tiny little parts together. He’s humming a little song to himself I don’t recognize; maybe he made it up. It goes nicely with the rain pattering softly on the roof.
To my surprise, he presents me with a spot-on replication of a fifth wheel camping trailer.
Wow, that looks just like a real camper, I remark.
He pulls the roof off to show me the inside. There’s a kitchen with a little Lego pan attached to the wall. A living room with a tiny Lego couch. There’s even a bathroom with a little, uh, Lego potty.
A day or so later the sun comes out ... just in time for Kindergarten Orientation Day at Spindale Elementary.
Smiling faces greet us as we walk through the double doors. Sage is so busy looking at all the colorful student artwork on the walls, he almost doesn’t notice a kind-faced woman is handing him a plastic school supply box.
Her name is Mrs. Nichols and she’s the school guidance counselor. She tells the children the way to remember her name is that it rhymes with “pickles.”
There are stickers of smiling bees on the plastic boxes she’s handing out. This gives her the opening to explain that Spindale Elementary’s motto is “Bee Your Best.”
I peek inside the box. A yellow note resting on top describes the contents.
“Eraser: Because we all make mistakes and it is OK, we can fix it. Smarties Candy: For how smart we are. Pencil: To help you do your work at home. Crayons: Because you are so colorful and bright. Scissors: Because you are a cut above the rest.”
A voice on the intercom announces the next school bus tour is coming up. I am soon being dragged down the hall by one very excited child.
We file onto a bus with other parents and their children. The driver, who is also the physical education teacher, takes us on a breezy ride through the neighboring streets. She tells us our children will be safe and happy on her bus.
Back at the school, we tour the four kindergarten classrooms where teachers are waiting to show the children around. We check out the different activity centers and meet the resident tadpoles. Each child gets a pack of flashcards to take home.
Sage heaves a dramatic sigh. It’s going to take SO long before I get to go to kindergarten, he tells me.
I start to reply he just has to “bee” patient; that the first day of kindergarten will be here before we know it.
But there’s a lump in my throat I have to swallow first.
Stephanie Janard is a mother and full-time copywriter. She lives in Spindale. To reach Stephanie, email firstname.lastname@example.org