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Welcome back, Kotter ...
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“School days, school days, dear old golden rule days — readin’ and writin’ and ‘rithmetic, taught to the tune of a hick’ry stick...You were my queen in calico, I was your bashful barefoot beau — and you wrote on my slate ‘I love you Joe’ when we were a couple of kids….”

Anyway, just wanted to share what happened on The Kid’s first day of school. He opted for time at the local baby jail rather than be home-schooled again, and came home with a story or two, always full of snide interpretation.

“So ... how was  it?” I asked, with a look of anticipation.

He shrugged and took off his backpack, as his three buddies stood close by with silly grins on their faces, just waiting for him to tell yet another hilarious tale.

“Well, I walked into fourth period class, and there she was...,” he said, sorta shaking his head and raising his palms upward.

“She who?”

“Andrea ... you know? The girl I went steady with last year?"

“Oh. Right. For all of two days.”

“Yeah — there she was. I walked in and looked at her, and she looked at me...,” he said, with the smirk that he does so well.

“Uh huh ... and...,” trying to hurry him through his story, i.e., get to the point, Kid.

“Well, she looked over at me as she was talking with her friends and said, ‘Oh, I am so over it!’ and I know she was talkin’ about me!”

I laughed and said, “OK, so what did you do?”

He shrugged and said, “I went like this” as he kinda dipped down and flipped “the finger.”

“That’s what you did? On the first day of school?” I wasn’t really aghast, but I had to act it, to add more drama to his tale.

The boys were giggling, of course, none of them particularly concerned that it was actually a rather rude and crass thing to do — especially when school is just getting back in session.

They went off into the kitchen, laughing about what her face must have looked like, and The Kid held court over a pan of brownies, making up the story as he went along, each of the boys interjecting with their version of “what if.”

Time for Mommy to join in and drop her own little bomb.

“Just remember, that little gesture might cost you the opportunity of getting to know other girls. Word spreads fast, boyos.”

Now, the other boys are not particularly interested in girls, at least not the two bigger boys. They stand a good half foot taller than The Kid and his other buddy.

It is The Kid who longs to be a chick magnet, but as I explained to him, “You will never draw the bees if you are a Sour Patch Kid.”

Sometime it takes a bag of cement to fall on your head before you “get it.”

They all looked at me, brownies stopping short of their gaping mouths, and I gave them my own little smirk and said, “You keep doing stupid things like that, you’ll have an awful reputation and the girls won’t even look at you. However, if you’re nice and you talk to them and make them laugh, you might have a chance.”

I was recalling how just the other day at registration, there was a gorgeous little gal giving a short wave to one of the Tall Boys, and he went over to say hello to her, but instead of engaging her in conversation, he was thumbpressing on his iPhone, basically never once making eye contact with her. I just wanted to grab that stupid thing away from him and make him talk to her, she was by far one of the prettiest gals at the school.

At last, he must have felt my burning eyes on him, because he looked up at me first and I gave him my “big eyes” and twitched my head in her direction.

He finally gave me one of his grins and finished up his conversation with her, and next thing I knew, he’d disappeared.

“Where did he go?” I asked The Kid.

“He went to wait in the car,” said The Kid, just as oblivious as Tall Boy.

“Who was that girl he was talking to?”

“I dunno. Someone he met at lifeguard camp over the summer. She’s ugly.”

I put my arm around his shoulders and said, “Son, I hate to tell you this, but that’s the cutest little girl at this school. And she seems to have a nice personality. You might do well to take another look next time you see her.”

Of course, I had to remind myself not to encourage them. If they’re still all wrapped in talking about video games, so be it.

The less time they spend gazing at girls and getting those hormones rolling around, the better.

After I dropped the little bombshell of a reminder on them about how to act around girls, they grabbed drinks and went outside to talk.

I knew they weren’t discussing what I’d just said to them. They were talking about a.) the new teacher that I heard them call “hot” and b.) which of the girls had “developed” over the summer.

OK, so they’re not totally oblivious.

Later on, after the other boys had gone home, I asked The Kid to give me a short synopsis of his first day back.

“Well, it stinks. I’m too white. Everyone stares at me. Every time I walk into the classroom, they all look up and watch me.”

I laughed and said, “Well, they just aren’t used to seeing you yet. They’ll get used to you again. If you just keep telling jokes and not act like a jerk, you’ll do fine.  You might want to learn a few Spanish phrases, too. Something you can say when someone does something goofy, or something the kids might hear at home. It couldn’t hurt.”

“Oh, yes it would! They’d start saying stuff about how I want to be like them — and I do not want to be like them!”

“Well then, just keep taking deep breaths. You’ll be OK.”

He’s already asked for a stay-at-home day.

I’ve got my home-schooling stuff at the ready.

Just in case.