Schoolhouse rock

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

Talk about trauma. Monday we put our 6-year-old son on the bus to school for the first time.

In my mind’s eye, I could see him desperately clutching his backpack and looking everywhere for a friendly face and not finding one. Overwhelming fear and no one, nowhere, to steer him in the right direction.

The team sprang into action. Kathleen drove straight up to the school to meet him. I followed the bus, just so I’d know its route—not because I was worried that Hunter would get confused and get off the bus at some location that wasn’t the school.

The little guy was mostly smiles when he got off the bus. The bus driver said that Hunter wanted to know why there weren’t seatbelts on the bus and that he should have some. Catastrophe averted for today.

We walked him down the hall, turning left at the big, blue B—“For Brian,” his mother told him. Quick thinking on her part, I would have said, “Blue,” but it’s nice that he’ll have a thought of daddy when he’s surrounded by all those bigger, more sophisticated kids who might not understand Hunter and certainly don’t care about his happiness.

For the day, Hunter had two teachers. Years younger than me, they both introduced themselves as “Mrs. Lastnames.” Gone are the friendly days of kindergarten’s Miss Sarah, up at the E.L. Cord Center at Truckee Meadows Community College. I hope these Mrs. Lastnames are as nice as she was and don’t make Hunter cry or hate school. So much depends on them in these early days.

He’ll get through it, I know. Everybody gets through first grade. The teachers know how to make the transition into the machine easy for kids, don’t they?