September 13, 1996
Andy entered the hallowed halls of kindergarten last week. After the first day he confided to his mother, "I was kind of scared about school."
"What were you scared of?"
"I was afraid somebody would say I was disgusting. When they didn't--" he drew the back of his hand across his forehead, "--I thought, 'Whew!'"
September 15, 1996
Linda lingered a few minutes after releasing Andy into his classroom the first few days of school--not that he had a fearful or reluctant bone in his body. On the first day she left him practicing diagonal lines at the teacher's instruction. On the second day, the teacher gave him more paper and the same instructions, apparently. Linda heard him say loudly, "That again? We learned that yesterday."
Linda was helping him with homework. They were studying the sound of long "a" and he was supposed to identify the picture of an ape.
"What is this, Andy?" she asked.
"What's another word for monkey?"
"Gorilla. Chimpanzee. Orangutan." He didn't know the word "ape," as it turned out, but he knew five synonyms.
He must be studying the life of Moses in Sunday School. He wanted to work his Nintendo in his lap and he couldn't conveniently get up and get new games when he was ready for them, so he asked his mother to be his "special assistant."
After she'd gotten up three times to fetch games for him, she said, "Maybe you should call me your slave."
"No," Andy said. "In Egypt, you'd be called a slave. Here, you're my 'special assistant.'"
Watching USC's win over Illinois last week, Andy observed John Robinson's impassive face and the Illinois coach's smile. He pointed the two men out to his dad: "He looks sad even though he's happy and he looks happy even though he's sad."
Out of the blue he asked Linda, "Who are you going to vote for?" and before she could answer, he made fists to show off his muscles. "Dole is this strong," he said, and Clinton--" bigger muscles, clenched teeth, "is this strong. I'm going to vote for Clinton."
October 16, 1996
Last presidential debate tonight. I'm sure it won't change anybody's mind. Certainly not Andy's.
Andy, at five, is passionately interested in this election. He watched the first debate while his mother tried to get him to do his homework.
"I'm telling him, 'Andy, color inside the lines! Andy, don't make that apple purple. Apples aren't purple,' and meanwhile he's concerned about the presidential campaign. He wants Clinton to win--wants it so much he doesn't think there should be an election, he doesn't want change. Mark told him Clinton sometimes tells lies so after the debate when Clinton was still in the lead, Andy said, 'See? He didn't tell any lies.'"
He is incredibly attuned to adult issues--and feelings. Mark's 18-year old nephew was killed in a car accident about a week ago. Linda took Andy to the funeral and on his own, Andy went up to each member of the immediate family at some point in the evening and said he knew Jeff had died and they were sad about it and expressed his sympathy! Jeff's mother told Linda he was such a blessing.
Today I am thankful for guacamole salsa. (Hmm, I'm hungry this week!)
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