10:00 AM – 5 – the principal is fat

On the first day of kindergarten, I tell the school principal she is fat. She walks up and introduces herself. I am standing beside my mom. I look up at her, with a coiffed black hair helmet. She is not much taller than me, relatively speaking. I squint up at her, then drop the bomb. Her face shimmers with surprise, then anger, quickly hidden as she smiles tightly and turns away to greet the next new student. My mom is appalled.

I do not want to stay. I beg my mom not to leave. She reminds me that I enjoyed nursery school once I stopped crying. I nod. This will be good. And I know some of the kids already — Bobby from Wise Owl, and Deirdre.

I adjust quickly. The work is easy — complete this pattern: circle, square, circle, ____ — and I already know how to read, so I am excused from class once a week to participate in the Junior Great Books program. Most of the kids are older than me, but that’s okay.

I like kindergarten. It is new, different, with new friends and books to read. The teacher, Mrs. Schwartz, is acceptable if not inspiring. The principal hates me, but on balance it is a good year.

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