Call me a heartless mom, but I didn’t think I’d cry over Calvin starting kindergarten. Not really because he’s our middle child, but because I see him and Reed as a unit. It just seems like Calvin should be at school with his buddy. Also, with his independent personality, he probably could’ve hacked it in the schoolyard at age two. So I was totally unprepared for the flood of emotions that hit me at his kindergarten screening this week. Calvin’s appointment was for 8:30, so I just took him to school with me and he hitched a ride back to daycare with a fellow Mrs. Pam’s graduate. He thought he was hot stuff, playing on the computer with his big bro, then getting bonus computer time before we had to head up to the gym. We walked down the stairs from my classroom side by side. Then I stopped at the door to talk to a coworker (who was insisting that she would take my 29 crazy ruffians along with her 18 all morning so I could stay with Calvin in the gym for the whole screening - I love my teacher friends!). While I was stopped, Calvin grabbed my hand with his right, pulled it into his left and grabbed ahold. Instant tear rush! My brave little turdkin was nervous! We walked hand in hand all the way to the gym, him walking slower than normal, me fighting the ugly cry the whole way. When we entered the gym, I saw it through his tiny eyes--it was huge. My shoes clickety-clacked across the court as we walked to his future teacher. He let go of my hand, stood all formal-like with his hands by his sides and said, “Hi, Missssssss Payne.” Be still, my heart! We’ve been working on that sthstinking “s” sound for a long time. He nailed it. He looked like the Cheshire cat doing it, but a cuter cat I’ve never seen. Now I’ve got to mentally and emotionally prepare for his real first day in five months. When he’ll be wearing some kind of so-ugly-it's-cute backpack. And have his arm around his buddy. Kill me now!