Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Reflection of a Kindergartener's Mom not Mommy: The Underestimator

Have you ever underestimated someone? Like thought one thing about them, only to learn that they are bigger and badder and braver than you realized? That's what happened to me on Isaiah's first day of kindergarten yesterday.

I thought he might be a little shy, overwhelmed, or maybe that he might withdraw a bit until he was comfortable. But that's not what he did.

He got on a big yellow school bus without us.
He made his way to the cafeteria without us.
He went to a new school and a new class with new people without us.
He even rode another bus after school without us.

And while I was freaking out (so much that I came to get him super early) he was not. He was so not.

We sat in our favorite frozen yogurt spot talking about the day. He looked puzzled when I said, "Yes" to gummy worms as a topping when I usually say, "No." It's because I was so proud of him that I wanted him to have a treat. But again I underestimate him. He said, "That's okay, Mom. I know you don't like me eating those because they give you cavities." And he was right.

I thought about how relaxed he looked. I noted that he called me "Mom" and reflected on my friend Kris R. who brought to my attention that having your child transition from calling you "Mama" to "Mommy" to "Mom" are big deal milestones. He was readier than I thought. I underestimated him.

This made me think of this resident I had in my program a few years back that seemed so shy and almost self-conscious. He was quite possibly the most humble person I'd ever met, and was so gentle that it almost seemed like a facade except it wasn't. It was him. But I underestimated him. I mistook gentle and humble for lacking assertiveness.

All of the interns had to give these lectures to their class, and it was his scheduled day. I waited for him to be nervous and soft-spoken and watched to see if he had a tremor when holding the laser pointer. But he didn't. I underestimated him completely.

Turns out it was one of the most superior lectures I have ever seen given by a trainee. He was confident. He was prepared. He was calm. He demonstrated expert prowess and navigated every slide and subsequent question with aplomb. I thought I learned that day to never underestimate any person's abilities.

Guess I'm still learning. On the second day of school, Isaiah ran down the driveway and onto the bus with a quick wave.

"Bye Mom!" he yelled, "See ya later, alligator!"

I wanted to cry when I answered him back and blew him a kiss. "After 'while crocodile."


  1. absolutely precious. This post made me smile :)

  2. Awww, I'm so proud of my nephew!!!

  3. KIM!!!!

    Can you believe this? Wow, I am amazed that he such a trooper! Not really, we are talking about the same little fellow that is bound to be a great leader of his generation. Let him walk, just you and Harry follow close behind. His steps are being ordered......I love it!

    Love Ya - Front INC.

  4. I knew that Isaiah would be a trooper about his new school, friends and bus ride. I can't wait to hear more about his first day(s) of school. Those famous words from Kingston - "See, I told you"!


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