#28. The sadness table gets set up in an unexpected place: outside Clyde’s Kindergarten room.
When Dad took me to swim lessons at the YMCA, the first week I was fine. But the next week I hold onto the parking meter and bawl my eyes out. I didn’t know that Going-For-Swim-Lessons was something that happened over and over! Clyde is confused in the same way too.
Well, Clyde, says Pop. You see, it’s like this. You have to go to school EVERY day.
Clyde’s face falls like a popped balloon. He whimpers; but, what he says next breaks my heart. I want Mommy! I want Mommy!
I’m finding out that my family’s sadness meal is a long one. And the table gets set up in unexpected places. I’m pretty sure we kids have never actually said “I want Mommy” out loud since she was murdered.
It gets real quiet in the hallway.
Just then Sam bursts out of the other Kindergarten room with his teacher, Miss Honey. (I’m not kidding. Her name is Miss HONEY, just like the teacher in Matilda, the teacher we all loved and wanted, the protection from Miss Trunchbull’s Chokey!) I squint my eyes as they approach. There’s something familiar about the way they look racing up to us, hand in hand. I can’t put my finger on it, though.
Sam lets go of Miss Honey and takes Clyde’s hand. They turn to face the rest of us with that we-twins-against-the-world stance. Clyde already seems braver with Sam next to him.
Good. Well, then. Pop stands up and takes charge. Here’s what we need to do. The principal looks like she’s going to say something, but Pop–this guy is so cool, he could calm a barracuda that hasn’t eaten in a week–he just keeps talking. Clyde and Sam need to be in the same room.
When Mimi and Pop registered us, the principal said that it would be “inadvisable” to have the twins in the same classroom. “Twins need to learn to be on their own,” she lectured, like we were school kids. Well, I AM a school kid, but Pop and Mimi? I mean, really. They’re old!
Pop clears his throat. He’s got an Abraham Lincoln look about him anyway, but right now he’s awesome, more like the Lincoln Memorial. I’m sorry. I should have insisted on this earlier. Someday Sam and Clyde can be in different classrooms. Right now, however, right now? They need each other.
And that was it. Miss Honey takes Sam and Clyde by the hand, and they head back to her room.
And, sigh! I head back to mine.