this is redberry joy town

I experience my first day helping in the class this year. At least a dozen kids ask me if I am Zane's mom. Even though they are all standing next to each other within earshot the twelve times I asnwer yes, I am Zane's mom as he hangs his body from my waist. Then Amy told me she wished her mom would come to class, too. I liked her sparkly nail polish. Her brown pigtails and thick bangs made me wonder what Sylvia will look like in first grade.

I haven't spent a lot of time around first graders. They're a pretty rad group of kids. Mostly Sammy. The kid who sits behind Zane. He talks to me much of the time. He is a bigger kid, has cool rectangular shaped glasses and his new top teeth are already growing in! He has the interpersonal communication skills of a young adult. I could have hung out with Sammy all day long. Next is Sophie who Zane has a crush on and has kissed. She was in his class last year. She moves during story time to sit next to me with her big smile. Then there is the girl with the glittery shoes that light up all over the place while she taps her feet under her desk. She might have been Haley or Hayden Emily. I forget. I wonder about those shoes in my size a little bit too long. Sammy is going to get in trouble for talking, I smile and direct him towards his teacher.

They read Juny B. Jones and Zane hates those books because she says bad words. He hides under a table. Gets in trouble. I was listening to Sammy. I enjoy the way the teacher brings life to the story and keeps the children quiet. She uses a different voice with Zane, one that is a little more understanding and patient. I wonder if it is just because I am present. I keep expecting it to break, the patience streak, mostly because he is pushing limits like I have never seen before. She holds her nice voice for him so long that I know it isn't fake.

They learn a little about the heart and then Kaylee raises her hand while the class is busy coloring hearts. She's the one that talks a lot, we met her at the dollar store. I walk over to help her. She tells me she thought of another person who helps keep your heart healthy. I can't wait to see what she is going to say and hope I have a good shot at sounding impressed with her answer. She says Denise Austin. ?? I have no idea who that is. She stares at me with sure eyes and expects a reply. I wait in silence. She follows up with her report on how she works out to those tapes with her mom. I met her mom at cirriculum night. I instantly imagine them in matching track suits and sweat bands. Hot Pink. It makes me wish I could stay in the class all day and hear stories about everyone's lives from their first grade perspective.

We decide it's better I leave the class so Zane can get his work done. He cries. I stare at the copy machine in the work room for 10 minutes until I figure out how it makes two sided copies. There are boxes of donuts lining the counter. I debate which one I will choose when the teacher grading papers leaves. The one with pink icing and sprinkles. She doesn't leave. I finish copies. Give Zane a final hug and wipe his tears.

I would be a horrible first grade teacher. I would want to listen to them talk all day. They would be way more interesting than the lessons. And no one would learn.