Bless his little heart, Evan let me sleep in this morning, kinda sorta; the payoff was that he wanted to get under the covers and snooze with me for a little bit. The rest of the morning was pretty routine – scrambled eggs and two whole oranges (!) for breakfast. We got to daycare, and that’s when Evan passed the test.
Evan’s current classroom at daycare has two classes – preschool I and preschool II – and we got there just as the kids were being herded into the classroom from another classroom where the early arrivals (i.e. the ones who don’t snuggle up to dad and sleep in) play and hang out until it’s time for class to start. Evan’s in preschool I, and stood by the door to his classroom like a friendly Wal-Mart greeter, saying hi to all his buddies as they passed him.
One of the older preschool II kids, while walking past Evan, snatched the blankie horse out of Evan’s hands and threw it in the floor.
Evan instantly looked angry. He raised a hand, and I thought to myself, “Oh hell, he’s gonna haul off and hit that kid.” The aforementioned horse-snatcher was standing there, holding up traffic and waiting for a reaction.
Evan glanced over at me, and I just looked back at him.
He decided to slap his own thigh with his raised hand, rather than hitting the other kid, picked up his blankie horse, and said loudly, “HEY! DON’T DO THAT.” Which got one of his teachers up to the front of the line pretty quick.
Normally when his teachers show up, I hand him off so he’s not sitting there pining away for me (which he does); best to disappear when the distraction presents itself. But on this occasion I squatted down and told him to come get a big hug. Because he passed the test and raised his voice instead of a fist.
I’ve done things in professional and academic and artistic settings that I’ve been proud of, but I don’t think I’ve ever been as proud of anything as I was this morning. I realize that his looking at me before acting was probably a simple matter of trying to gauge how much trouble he’d be in if he did hit the other kid, but hey, we’ve all gotta start weighing the advantages of speaking out vs. acting rashly somewhere.
I have a personal rule about leaving the world a better place than I found it, and I’d like to think that this is the first sign that Evan might someday adopt that view as well, and carry forward all the stuff that I believe in and try to do. In which case… I’ve served my purpose, and my replacement’s here (much better looking and hopefully he’ll wind up with fewer neuroses), and I couldn’t be happier with him.
I love this little guy.