I remember it like it was yesterday…taking my first-born, Kevin, to his kindergarten entrance exam. I arrived on time with Kevin (5 years old) and my younger son, Eric (2 1/2 years old) in tow. Don’t be too impressed with my punctuality, the school was around the corner from our house. We filed out of the car and as I swung Eric into position on my right hip, I was struck with a wave of nervousness. I knew that Kevin was smart but I had no idea what they were going to ask him in the interview. I said a quick prayer that Kevin would pass the kindergarten entrance exam and headed towards the front doors of the elementary school.
Once inside, introductions were exchanged and Kevin was seated at a long table across from two teachers. Things started out well. The teachers handed Kevin a piece of paper, a pencil and some crayons.
A pleasant dark-haired teacher asked Kevin to write his name. Kevin followed her instruction and wrote his first and last name on the bottom of the paper. I beamed with pride.
Eric was already starting to get fidgety, as I pulled on his arm to try to get him to sit down. Before we left the house Eric had insisted on wearing a Superman t-shirt with an attached cape, a purchase we had made at Six Flags that summer. It hadn’t dawned on me when I dressed Eric that morning, but he had the full intention of getting his Superman cape to fly behind him and began circling the table in the small room.
The teacher moved the crayons towards Kevin and asked him to draw any picture he wanted. As Kevin went to work detailing a beautiful picture of a train, I chased Eric around the table trying to get him to be still. Glancing back at Kevin engrossed in his drawing, I tried to no avail to ward off his brother’s Superman distraction.
“Don’t worry.” the teacher stated, “The baby is fine. We’re almost done here.”
I tried to force a smile while I worried that all of the commotion had resulted in ending Kevin’s interview earlier than it should have. I quickly got back to Kevin’s side as the second teacher asked Kevin, “So, what is your brother’s name?”
Kevin sat quietly for a moment then took the crayon and wrote a large “E” in the upper right side of the paper. The “E” was backwards and I had to stop myself from saying “NO” out loud.
Kevin continued and wrote Eric’s named completely backwards and upside, right to left. I held my breath for a moment before I realized that Kevin had written Eric, mirror image and upside down, so it was facing the teachers and easy for them to read.
Both of the teacher’s mouths dropped open as Kevin slowly slid the paper across the desk toward the teachers and said, “That’s my brother’s name.”
I was still in shock as we walked out to our car.
I said to Kevin, “Buddy, that was really cool what you did with your brother’s name.”
Kevin shook his head yes and just replied a simple “Ya.”
Kevin. My film maker, my writer, my radio talent, actor, voice over guy…my rapper. There has always been something special and unique about my first-born son. I knew it when he was young and I know it now.
I love you Kevin and I can’t wait to see what you do with all of the amazing gifts that you have been blessed with. You make me proud everyday.