I was browsing through the work of the first graders pinned on the wall, while waiting to meet Ryan’s teacher for a conference. One project caught my attention, the children had written who they ‘honored’ and why. They were all very entertaining reads. I read all the writings and colorful illustrations with a smile while searching for the one written by my son. I was curious to find out who he had honored.
There was only one which had no name on it, and I knew that was Ryan’s by the curl of the tail of lower case ‘g’! That is his idea of writing in cursive, by curling the tail of g artistically. He had honored Zach! I admit, I was slightly crestfallen. There was a secret hope/desire that I would find him honoring his mother for feeding him (that has to come first, he loves his food), taking him to sports and practices( he loves sports next). I would get all misty eyed, go ‘awwww’ and make that my Facebook status update. But there it was, ‘I honor Zach because he is a great basketball player and he tries very hard.’ First I couldn’t even remember who Zach was, after racking my brain for a while and fearing that I was slowly losing my mind, I remembered Zach. He was a fellow teammate at Ryan’s basketball clinic whom Ryan had met only six weeks ago. He, indeed, was a good player, but Ryan and Zach were certainly not tight. They probably high-fived each other after a basket, but the camaraderie ended there.
Well, maybe their bond goes deeper than I thought. Still puzzled, I attended the conference, came home and forgot all about it. Today, at lunch I remembered my slight at not being honored. Who was this Zach who usurped my place in my boy’s heart, and wanted to get at the bottom of it. I laughingly asked Ryan why did he honor Zach, his other friends had written they honored their moms, dads, friends, army, military, firemen, astronauts etc, etc and he honored Zach, who he hardly knew??? He heard my spiel with a slight smile and said ‘Did you see the alphabet at the corner of the paper?’ I did see an alphabet, yes. He said, ‘I got to think of someone who I honored whose name began with the letter Z. At first, all I could think of was zebra, so I wrote I honored zebra because they are fast. But that didn’t sound good to me. So I thought some more and remembered Zach! His name begins with a Z and so I honored him. I wanted to honor you but I didn’t get the letter M!’
Seriously? Honor someone whose name begins with one of the most difficult alphabets in English language? Who would I have thought of? Emile Zola? Zachary Taylor? Of course, Mark Zuckerberg? Oh wait, we are talking of first grade, here!