I really don’t think it’s possible to love this kid anymore. I went to his back-to-school night last night and the above poster was hanging up outside his classroom. What a dear friend he is to have his number one wish be to spend every second with his buddy, Quinn. Jon and I have to rent a RV to make Mario’s second wish come true. Mario has been begging for a trip in a RV since he was four and hooked on the show Ben 10 (where Ben rides around in a RV). Before he wanted to go to Mt. Rushmore in the RV but now I see it’s Hawaii. We better rent it soon before he opts for Asia.
Mario is working hard on his third wish. Jon and I are amazed at his perseverance and grit on the football field. He’s the youngest boy in tackle but he is one of the strongest.

He also has a lot of heart. He wants to get out there and tackle the heck out of kids. He could care less about catching the ball. He just wants to hit. He’s been this way since he was a toddler; he’s always loved to wrestle. Jon and I have spent countless hours on the family room carpet going round after round with him. He’s a strong little sucker. Last night, he got in his football stance and ran towards us to tackle. Both Jon and I woke up this morning with sore chests from his pushes.
He tells us that he wants to play pro because then he’d make one million dollars. He also thinks he will get money in college. I explain to him he may get a scholarship where his room and board are paid and then mom and dad would save money but he would not get actual money in his own pocket. He doesn’t quite get that and dismisses me each time I explain it. However, by the time he becomes a college football player, the NCAA will probably allow stipends, if not a paycheck… so he will probably be right in the end.
I read his note he wrote to Jon and I as I listened to his teacher talk about the class routine. In his note, he told Jon and I “do not be scared.” I thought that was interesting advice to give us. He must know that he’s gonna take risks (example, playing tackle football at age 6) and that he needs to reinforce in Jon and I that we need to swallow our fears and let him try….


Summer’s End

Maria started first grade today.  There we all stood at 8:05 this morning waiting for the side doors to the school to open.  Parents huddled together chatting about how quickly the summer flew by and how old the kids looked.  The kids stood at guard against their parents thighs anxious and nervous to start another year. 

Maria woke up this morning in a pleasant, calm mood (much better than she had been the night before – worried and cranky about starting school).  She wore a dress that Mama Ionno had bought her this Summer.  One thing I love about my girl is that she was not all about buying new outfits for school.  She is like her parents that way – Jon and I rarely go out to shop; only in desperation.  I could not believe the number of women who asked her if she bought a new dress for the first day of school.  It didn’t bother her though – she simply replied with a “uh-uh” and moved on her merry way.  Of course, I act as if she is some holier than thou girl who shuns all material goods.  I must admit that when I asked her what she wanted to do before her first day of school, she did not say “go shopping” much to my liking but she did say “Get a manicure and pedicure.”  And after getting a manicure and pedicure, I realized it would have been a lot cheaper to just buy a dress!

Maria's pedi (including a peace sign)

When the first bell rung, we all herded through the doors and up the stairs to Maria’s Room 203.  Her teacher hastily greeted us and took our paperwork and invited Maria to have a seat.  Maria had a book about Arthur at her seat.  She liked that.  She is sitting at a table with two boys.  I am sure she liked that, too.  She sat in her seat and put on her name tag.  She looked like a lot of the other kids.  Nervous; bewildered; slightly excited.  I kept giving her hugs and kisses until she finally said in an exasperated tone “Mom” and shooed me out with her hand.  She is no longer my baby kindergartener. 

I left work early to pick her up from school.  She smiled so big when she saw me which makes all of the make-up work I had to do tonight on the computer so worth it.  But when she walked up to me, the first thing out of her mouth was not “I love you mom; thanks for getting me.” No, instead it was “Where’s Zach?”  Zach is her new best friend who lives one block over from us.  She walked home with Zach and Zach’s mom and I tried like mad to get them to talk about their first day of school.  They just goofed off and ignored us.  We did learn that Maria’s favorite part of the day was lunch and that recess is before lunch this year.  But that was about it. 

Reading Arthur

She got homework for tonight – she had to find three things that reflect who she is or what she likes.  She chose a flag of Michigan since she loved to vacation there with Jon and me; a pair of goggles since she loves to swim; and a marker because she likes to draw.  She did not want to read with me for ten minutes and when I tried to help her pronounce words, she got flustered.  We stuck with one book only tonight.  Baby steps – we still have another nine months to go…