I spend all of Monday morning in Hannah's classroom so that I can attend violin class with her and 8 other kindergartners. The violin class is a little bit nuts, but I enjoy myself quite a bit the rest of the time. The teacher keeps me busy; I'm getting to know the bunch of kids who will be my daughter's classmates for a long time; and I know enough about the classroom schedule and dynamics now to ask Hannah good questions when I want to find out what she's been up to at school (because heaven forbid she should volunteer any information, I have to dig it all out of her and I'm only allowed 2 questions before she clams up).
Today the violin class finally reached the point where they got to play their violins. The rhythm "pep-per-on-i piz-za" on an open E string. Ready. Play.
Recently someone asked Hannah how she was enjoying kindergarten. She said it was fine, "but I am getting so tired of the alphabet." When I told her about this exchange, Hannah's teacher laughed, then sighed an "Oh poor Hannah." Because, tiring though it is, she's kind of stuck with the alphabet.
In the poem Instructions to the Artist, Billy Collins wrote:
Never be ashamed of kindergarten--
It is the alphabet's only temple.
Not long ago I had a vivid dream in which I owned an Alphabet Shop. I sold alphabets. Beautiful, beautiful alphabets for people who collect such things. It was a tiny shop. Gorgeous, colorful banners filled with alphabets hung from the high ceiling all the way to the floor. Shelves full of letters of all sizes and shapes lined the stone walls. Everything felt peaceful and quiet; the people who visited me were delighted to have found my shop. It was the best dream I have ever had.