Many of you have asked how we are doing with the move. We’re OK. Benjamin is a little confused by the fact that both his preschool in Los Angeles and his preschool here have a Noah and a Ryan, but otherwise he seems to be adjusting nicely. J is enjoying work thus far, and Lilah, other than the increased eczema, doesn’t care where she is as long as I am there with her. I’m OK, too. I’ve unpacked some things, I am carving out a little writing time, I have joined the town’s organic co-op. In fact, we’re all doing well except for Zachary.
That’s because Zachary has no friends. The children at school all ignore him, refusing to speak to him. They also tease him mercilessly, mostly because they are all twice as tall as he is, a year older, and a different religion. He has been sentenced to a lifetime of loneliness and isolation.
Of course, according to his teacher, the other kids are calling to him to come play with them and he is joining in, laughing. There are plenty of other five-year-olds in the Kindergarten, he is not the only Jewish child, and he is all smiles and chatter throughout the day.
I appear to be getting somewhat conflicting reports. While Zachary is always happy after school, he tells a dire tale of Kindergarten Pariah-ship and misery. His teacher seems to think he is doing fine. I’ve known him long enough to know that the truth is probably somewhere in between, but I have to take what he says seriously, because it reflects his reality, even if the rest of us cannot see it. Whereas Benjamin hustles off to school with his pink sparkly Dora backpack, completely unconcerned about the opinions of his peers, Zachary takes things personally and awfully hard.
We’re all hardwired a little differently.