Rocking-Chair Moon Excerpt #1

By David Patneaude


READY, SET, GO! (1996- 2000)
STIRRINGS (2001- 2007)
MOVING ON (2007 and Beyond)

(Summer 1996-Spring 2000)

Ben Duran, Age Eight,
Knows it All
Carly Duran, Eleven Months Younger,
Knows More

Country Meadows Primary School (K-3)

Redshirt Year

Last year, when I got to Country Meadows and
started first grade, the other kids didn’t know
I’d already spent two whole years
in kindergarten at my old school,
and me and Carly sure as heck didn’t tell ’em,
even though I didn’t feel bad, exactly,
about being a little slow to adjust, because
Mom said that first kindergarten year was
a great time for stretching wings
and Dad smiled his rocking-chair-moon smile
and said it was my redshirt year,
that I’d be kinda like a college football player
preserving a year of eligibility
by spending his first season just practicing
and watching and waiting
to get bigger and stronger and wiser and
ready for any challenge
and I have gotten bigger and stronger and
wiser and ready for any challenge
because I’m taller than most of the other kids
in my class except for three girls and Max
and I can do three pull-ups on the playground
bars and silent-read a whole page
without moving my lips and write
big sentences and count as high as you want.

So a month from now when second grade
comes it won’t matter much
that I’m eight not seven
because I’m gonna be like one of those
stretch-winged, redshirted football players,
whopping-big and super-strong and
wise-like-an-owl and ready to take off.

I just hope there’s a chair big enough for me.

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