Thursday, June 10, 2010
There is a school where Isaac goes every night while we sleep. He does his best not to wake us, then gets on his dad's bike and rides 50 miles to Big Sur where he meets his friends and Secret School commences.
It's been about five months, I'd say, that we've been hearing about Secret School. There are special keys involved – usually bits of plastic we find around that have no known origin. “That's my key to Secret School!” Isaac will shriek, and dive for it before it his the trashcan.
By all accounts Secret School is a very special place. Very fun. And, of course, very secret. He can't really tell us all the things that go on there. We wouldn't understand anyway.
His preschool teacher has a theory on Secret School. You see, there are five of them – the Fab Five I call them – who've been together now since, well, yes, since they were in diapers. Isaac, two other little boys his age, and a pair of sisters. Theses days, they are the cool cats. The older group at school. Inseparable. We take them to the park and they slide down the slides holding hands. (Yes, I forgot my camera, thank you very much.) And now it seems the group is breaking up. The sisters are moving. The other boys are going to a different kindergarten experience next year while Isaac will stay where he is.
This week is the last for most of them to be all together. Really, it's nothing short of heartbreaking. They've known it was coming, and Isaac's teacher believes that Secret School is their way of staying together. No matter where they live or where they go to school by day, by night they run the show, hanging out among the redwoods, learning only the fun stuff, no grown up rules, nobody has to leave.
Sometimes in the mornings, Isaac will ask us, “Did you hear me 'neak out for Secret School??” Or he might report on who wasn't able to be at Secret School, or even a guest speaker that showed up at Secret School. This morning the story was a new one.
“I didn't go to regular Secret School last night,” he told us.
“Everybody else, they went to the usual Secret School, but I went to a different Secret School. Just to check it out.”
“To check it out, huh?”
“Yeah, you know, see what it was like.”
“And how was it?”
“Good. A lot of the things were the same.”
“There were different kids there though?”
“Yeah. One kid talked like a pirate. You know, 'Get the booty!' Stuff like that.”
“Hmm. So you think you're gonna go to this new Secret School?”
“Yeah, I think so.”