So maybe Italian school does get easier with time, because today is already the third day and so far so good.
Five did well on his first day. Before we left for our walk to school, he cried a little and said he didn’t want to go. We told him about Nine’s first day, and how the teacher had assigned him a seat between two girls, horror of all horrors, and it had been tragic. But first grade teachers are kind – it’s a job requirement – and she had moved him. Surely Five’s teacher would be as kind as that and make sure that nothing so terrible happened to him.
He decided he’d give it a try after all.
The incoming first graders gathered on the basketball court after the other classes had gone in and their teachers led them away. Five was his usual happy self by then, just another little boy in a single file line, but before he went inside, he turned and smiled at me, and I waved the same wave of encouragement and pride as every other mother standing on the court that morning, and I hope I always remember his beautiful little face the way it was at that very instant, which I have since then kept frozen in time. His nervous smile, his bright blue eyes, his brother’s hand-me-down uniform T-shirt, a little piece of my heart that walked off with him and into school, while an even bigger piece grew in its place.