by jkatejohnston

2 August 2013

Dear Max,

Yesterday Enzo’s first grade teacher visited. Mr. Larson. (Miss Bento quit already.) He’s tall and slender, about our age, white, glasses and a quiet easy way about him. At first Enzo was very shy, hiding behind Teresa on the couch, and Mr. Larson didn’t try to talk to him very much. And then there was an opening, and Mr. Larson asked him about something—whether he liked Kendama, I think. It was quiet and off-hand. He didn’t really look at Enzo, more at him and then away but still talking to him and listening.

Most people, when they meet kids, get down on their level (I mean physically) and express unbridled enthusiasm. That’s pretty much what I do, concealing my complete boredom. Mr. Larson wasn’t like that. He was quiet and attentive.

Pretty soon Enzo disappeared and came back, still shy, no words, entering the living room on slow quiet feet, rattling his rattlesnake rattle. But words came soon after. Then he brought out his fossils from Texas, and Mr. Larson looked at those for a long time, and he and Enzo talked about how old they were and what other fossils there are in Texas, and then Enzo brought out the perfect (dead) swallowtail butterfly he found over the grating of a storm drain.

I’d primed him beforehand with these nature-y treasures so that we’d look really Waldorf. Most of his other beloved possessions are trademarked petroleum products. But anyway, by the end of the visit, he’d told Mr. Larson that he has three R2-D2’s.

Anyway, we’re happy and relieved. Mr. Larson seems like a lovely guy, and he’s going to be Enzo’s teacher for the next eight years, if he survives it. (In Waldorf the teachers move up with the kids.) It’s strange to think that during the school year Enzo will spend more waking hours with Mr. Larson than with me. Teresa will still be at least tied.