Did I ever tell you about Ezra?
Ezra came late into Brooke’s classroom this year. And he came with a flourish. This kid was a player. A thirty-year-old smooth operator in the body of an adorable first grader. Ezra viewed the school as his very own singles bar. And he’d set his eye on one little girl in particular.
On back to school night, Luau had a conversation with Ezra’s mom. She told him that Ezra had come home after the first day in his new school and had told her that there were no ‘hot chicks’ in his class. He came home the next day, she said, and told her that he’d like to revise his previous assessment. He’d met Brooke.
Just a few days after settling into his new class, Ezra went to work. Both Brooke’s teacher and her aide wrote to me one day, busting at the seams to tell me the following.
The kids had been waiting on line together. Brooke was wearing a little polo shirt that day that had the number 2 emblazoned on it. Ezra had come over to her and worked to get her attention. Yes, it can take work to get her attention, but Ezra was apparently not one to shrink from a challenge. Once he had her attention, he delivered the cutest line I’d ever heard. “Hey, Brooke,” he said. “I know your shirt says #2, but I want you to know that I think you’re #1.”
This kid is gonna be trouble with a capital T.
The day that I volunteered in the classroom, he came over to my table and sat right down next to me. He wore a smirk that nearly killed me dead. This kid is six-and-a-half? Reeeeeally? He looked me right in the eye as he asked, “Excuse me, do you know Brooke?”
“Why yes I do,” I answered. “I’m her mom.”
“I thought so,” he said, still smirking. God, this kid’s good. “I knew one of you was her mom, but I wasn’t sure which one. Well, I’m Ezra.”
Of course you are, I thought. And you are absolutely adorable. I wanted to take him home with me.
Over the coming months, Ezra continued to look out for Brooke. And I started to wonder what her prom dress might look like.
This week, we got the news that Ezra moved to a new school. Brooke’s aide wrote to tell me that they had spent part of the day writing him notes to wish him luck and to tell him he would be missed. I wondered if Brooke was as heartbroken as I was.
At bedtime that night, I asked her if someone had left her class that day.
“Ezra did,” she said.
I asked where he went.
“He will go to a new school. He’s not in our class anymore.”
I asked if she’d written him a note.
“I did,” she said softly.
We laid quietly in the dark of her room. It was getting late and it was nearly time for me to go. I curled around her and listened to her soft, stimmy hum.
And then she added something. Something fairly miraculous. Something completely appropriate and directly related to the current conversation. A sentence – perfectly formed. It was even in the past tense. Its grammar and syntax were flawless. And it identified and related an emotion – something we see about as often as Hailey’s Comet.
“I was sad without Ezra.”
I held her closer and told her that I understood. And that I was so glad that she could tell me that. I told her that we would get hold of Ezra’s mom and exchange addresses so that they could write to each other.
As my friend Drama says, “our kids know their people.” Ezra was Brooke’s people. He was a good kid. He had something – something special. And he saw that same kind of something in Brooke. And obviously, she saw it in him.
I will always be grateful for the little guy. He proved it’s possible. Connection. Friendship. Sadness. It’s all possible. Even a prom dress.
Good luck in your new school, kiddo. You will be missed.