Wednesday, April 7, 2010

30 Days, 30 Stories: "Adam's First Day"

Adam’s First Day
Timothy J. Bronley

2010 copyright. Author retains all rights to the story; please do not use this story without author's permission.

Adam hated walking onto the elementary school’s campus. It was his sixth school in six years. He missed his old home in Tampa where he spent kindergarten and had made the most friends. But, just as Adam finished kindergarten, his dad got a new job that required them to move to Orlando. At first it was ok. Once a month, Adam’s mom would take him to Tampa to see his old friends. For his birthday, Adam was given a new Wii with a few games. He was excited to get a new bike for Christmas that year along with almost every toy he wanted. But just when his mom and dad were looking at buying a house, Adam’s dad was transferred to Boston.

Adam didn’t mind the move at first. It was pretty cool. He made new friends fairly quickly. He didn’t worry too much about anything. Boston had become a new home for him. And he had a lot of fun there. But at the end of that school year, Adam’s dad was transferred again. This time, they had to move to the Denver area.

Maybe the kids there really didn’t like him. Or maybe Adam was just too sad with all the moving around. Either way, Adam discovered after a few weeks at this new school that he had no friends. His teacher barely acknowledged him. He sat in the back corner and just made his way through school. Yeah, he did all his homework, because his mom made him. Adam didn’t like it at school and did whatever he could to not go. His mom made him go anyway.

Fourth grade saw the same pattern. Adam’s dad got transferred. This time, they went to Houston. It wasn’t too bad, he guessed. But he still didn’t have any friends there after a few months. Adam’s mom and teacher had him go see a counselor. He didn’t like going and didn’t talk to her very much. Adam still did ok in class, he just didn’t like it there. Again, he sat in the back corner of the class, where he felt ignored. The other kids didn’t really like him, he thought.

So when fifth grade had come around, and Adam’s dad took them somewhere near Los Angeles, Adam wasn’t surprised. He just wanted to be home schooled. His mom didn’t want to do that. She told him that he needed to be around other kids. And that’s what led him to his first day at this sixth school.

His mom walked him into the administration building. There was a friendly secretary at the reception desk who led his mom into the principal’s office while he sat in one of the uncomfortable wooden chairs in the waiting room.

“You’ll like Loma Vista,” the secretary said. “It’s a very good school.”

Adam gave a wordless nod.

The secretary opened a drawer and pulled out something. She brought it with her around the big desk and bent down to be eyelevel with Adam. “Take one.”

Adam looked at the small glass bowl that she was holding. It was filled with various candy bars. A couple of them were his favorites. He reached in and pulled one out. He said thanks, but still didn’t smile.

Soon, Adam’s mom and the principal came out of the office. The principal invited Adam in with his mom. Like all the other principal offices Adam had visited, there were a few diplomas behind the principal’s desk along with a picture of his family. But that was where the similarities ended.
There were completed puzzles of underwater drawings framed and hung on one wall. There were framed puzzles of fantasy people on the other. The chairs were colorful, not business like at all. Nothing at this school was as Adam had expected so far. But his amazement ended as he was told it was time to go to his new classroom.

“Adam, you’re going to have Ms. Roby as a teacher. She’s one of the best here. And you’ll be in classroom ten. I’ll take you there.”

After saying goodbye to his mom, Adam was led to his new classroom. Like most of the classrooms that he had been in, it was colorful and full of decorations from its current students. But as Adam was being introduced to his new teacher, he looked around and found an empty seat in the middle of the room.

“Now, you’ll have that middle seat there,” Ms. Roby said. “Kyle was nice enough to move to the back for you.”

Adam looked and saw a kid waving at him, who was still putting things in his desk.

Still thinking that this was going to be a repeat of the last few years of school, Adam stayed quiet during the first hour he was there. When the recess bell rang, Adam got up and slowly followed all the students out of the classroom. Another boy from his class, David, asked Adam if he wanted to play basketball with some of the other boys.

“I suck at basketball,” Adam warned. “You don’t want me on your team.”

David laughed. “We all suck at basketball. The sixth graders are the good ones. But still, no one cares if you’re good or not.”

Recess was actually fun for the first time that Adam could remember. He didn’t play really well. But no one seemed to mind. One kid even promised to show Adam how to dribble better during the lunch recess.

And that’s not where his friendships ended. Adam went to school every day that year without any problem. He was invited to parties. He was given valentine’s presents. People were actually asking him when he was going to have a birthday party. The entire year was fun.

But as the end of the school year neared, Adam was sure he’d hear that his dad was going to be transferred to another city. So when that news came, Adam was sad that day at school. When Kyle and David asked what was wrong, Adam told them.

Because of the friendships that Adam had made, his dad was offered a job at the same company that Kyle’s dad worked at. Adam’s dad switched jobs. Adam and his family didn’t have to move. And finally, Adam got to spend a second year at the same school. Even though he was upset and annoyed at all the moving his family had done, he was no longer scared of switching schools. He knew that he had finally found a place that he could call home. And if it wasn’t for all the moving around that Adam’s dad had done, none of this would have happened. Sometimes, things just have a way of working out, especially when you least expect it.

1 comment:

Taffy said...

My dad was in the AF so I can relate to moving around.
Good perspective.