Yesterday morning, Sophie and I made a quick trip to Safeway, which was very exciting for her because we ran into none other than Ms. X, Kindergarten Teacher Extraordinaire.
It was the last day of Fall Break; Sophie hadn’t seen her teacher in more than a week. She eyed her shyly as Ms. X complimented Sophie on her princess pajamas (bad mom didn’t bother to dress the kid) and asked how her trip to Winslow was.
Sophie finally warmed up — maybe she didn’t remember her at first? — and grabbed Ms. X’s hand, a huge grin on her face.
She talked about the encounter all day, while I spent the day bragging about what happened next.
After we were done shopping and Sophie had announced to the clerk that she was “82” when asked her age (something that had never happened before but I suspect will continue, given the entertained reaction she got) we stopped at the Starbucks counter on the way out of Safeway. Sophie requested her usual — “iced moh-ka!” — and I ordered her a kiddie chocolate milk with ice and a little whipped cream. It arrived with red sprinkles, a real treat.
When I went to get Sophie and her drink out of the car, she held up the cup, looked at my name scrawled on the side, and read “Amy”, then spelled out the letters for me.
I was stunned. I know it’s not “War and Peace,” but I think Sophie actually read a word — and not “and” or “the” or “dog” under a picture of a dog.
This morning when we arrived at school, before I could stop her, Sophie had run off to the playground on her own. I held my breath and let her go, for the first time not following, but warning Ms. X when she emerged from the classroom to fetch the kids that Sophie was out there, somewhere.
I stood and watched the kids pour down the breezeway. Annabelle came and went with her classmates. Finally, I saw Ms. X’s head above the crowd. She caught my eye and gave a thumbs up, and suddenly there was Sophie, walking with the rest of her classmates, running over to grab her backpack and lunch box, barely saying goodbye before she disappeared into the classroom.
Annabelle still requires a squeeze and an “I love you” before she’ll enter her classroom, so I fetched my hug and went on my way. It was a good morning.