Tonawanda News

Features

September 16, 2013

DOUBLE TROUBLE: The secret lives of kindergartners

Tonawanda News — In my 16 years in journalism — more if you count college — many of them as a features or education reporter, I’ve interviewed hundreds of children. I’ve learned the tricks. I’ve learned what not to do. I’ve coaxed quotes from toddlers; I’ve sat down with teenagers. If I may brag just a little bit, I think I’m actually pretty good at it. 

But after that time, I may have finally met my match:

In my younger son.

As I write this, it’s the first day of kindergarten. Standing at his school, I was nearly tackled in a bear hug, then strolled with this beaming new kindergartner through the doors and headed for home. I looked down at my little boy, handsome in his new school clothes, backpack slung over his shoulders.

”So what did you do on your first day of school?”

He considered the matter. “I learned ... all sorts of stuff, really.” (He even sounds older, I thought.)

”What sorts of stuff?”

That earned me the barest eye roll. “I just told you. All sorts of stuff!”

Ah. I leaned on the lessons of 16 years. “What was your favorite part?”

”Mmm. All of it.”

”But what did you do?”

”All sorts of stuff!”

He was happy with his first day. I let it go, with a mental note to try later when the post-school bounciness wore off. It was hard to not to feel challenged, but treating your son like a hostile interview subject is probably not going to win you mother-of-the-year honors.

If I’m honest with myself, though, it’s not just about the professional challenge on a personal level. It’s the fact, hard to face, that my son — OK, my baby, my youngest — now has a huge part of his life that I just can’t see. Not unless he tells me about it. And that’s completely and totally up to him. 

Text Only
Features
  • sig - critter companions RGB CRITTER COMPANIONS: Gardening with chickens

    There is no need to get mad as a wet hen if you want to juggle flourishing flower beds, viable vegetable gardens and free-range chickens.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • sig - critter companions RGB CRITTER COMPANIONS: Let's unlabel our pets

    Several weeks ago, I mentioned how we should not use labels. I said that labels are circular, meaning that if we use them we just will end up where we started. An example of a label is saying that “all scarlet macaws are vindictive” or “all pit bulls are aggressive.”

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • SUN LIFE Volunteers honored 1 040614.jpg Women Who Move the City (and beyond)

    April 7, 2014 2 Photos

  • SUN LIFE POUND 1040614j jpg.jpg Rock n' roll fitness

    April 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • sig - crib notes RGB Enough of this winter -- it's time for spring

    Midway through separating the bits of dog food from the shredded paper towel pieces on the saturated bed sheet that had been strewn across the dining-room table, I finally realized I’d had enough.

    April 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • sig - critter companions RGB Dear readers, it's me, Kenny

    I have bad knees. I have been told to blame my grandmother. I have also been told to blame her for my love of animals. Today, we celebrate the 100th Critter Companions column.

    April 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • SUN LIFE mummies 1 033014.jpg 'Mummies of the World' exhibit arrives in Buffalo

    As visitors arrived for the recent NCAA basketball tournament games in Buffalo, a much older group of visitors arrived via motorcade at the Buffalo Museum of Science — but these newcomers to the Queen City wouldn’t be seeking out a place to have a beer between games or where to find the region’s best chicken wings.

    March 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • sig - double trouble RGB Years later, still spending sunny days on Sesame Street

    I always knew we’d hit “the Elmo years.”

    Going into parenthood, it seemed like a given. Both my husband and I  were “Sesame Street” fans from childhood ourselves, and we were happy enough to pass it on to a new generation. And we knew, having friends with children of the applicable age, that in this day and age “Sesame Street” equalled Elmo, the squeaky-voiced “furry red menace” (thus dubbed by Oscar the Grouch) of parents everywhere.

    March 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • SUN LIFE Local Restaurant Week 2 033014.jpg Back for another bite

    As spring finally starts to unfold in Western New York, residents are likely eager to get out of their houses — and organizers of Local Restaurant Week hope they’ll consider eating out as they do that.

    March 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wineries invite visitors to take a Taste of the Trail

    If one weekend of food and wine pairings is a good thing, two weekends of food and wine pairings must be even better.

    For the first time, the Taste of the Trail event, which takes place Friday through April 6 and April 11 to 13 on the Niagara Wine Trail, will be split into two weekends, with half the trail’s wineries taking part the first weekend and half the second, said Elizabeth Maute, wine trail coordinator.

    March 31, 2014