Silvery flakes drifted down, glittering in the bright light of the harvest moon.  The blackbird...

The blackbird didn't really matter.  Nor did the silvery flakes or the harvest moon.  It was a beautiful first sentence.  It really was, and it should spark all sorts of prose filled language and drippy sentiment, and normally it would.  She just couldn't.  Her focus was blown.

Earlier that day, her son's kindergarten teacher had called her at work.  The kindergarten teacher was a problem.  She always spoke in a high-pitched, slow, empathetic voice the way stoners did back in high school.  The teacher always wanted to complain that her son was not listening, or socializing at the wrong time, or sometimes just pretending that the teacher did not exist.  The teacher would always start out the same way-- with a whiny, 'he's very, very smart for his age, but...'

She generally thought the teacher incompetent, which wasn't really fair, it was mostly due to that stupid voice.  It just grated on the woman's last nerve. That day the teacher told her that her son had come in from recess, and while the other children found their seats, commenced screaming and running around the room like a mad person.  He had refused to make eye contact or even glance at the teacher when he was told to stop.  The teacher was afraid that he had suddenly gone deaf.  The boy was in a world of Kindergarten trouble...the red card, principal's office, the entire hullabaloo.  He was with the teacher in the principal's office, and as extra punishment, now had to explain to his mother exactly what he did and why his teacher had to call.

The boy was completely unphased. He answered the phone with a happy, "HI MOM!" And then pretended he didn't remember why he was supposed to call in the first place. The teacher was not pleased.  She asked that his hearing be checked. The woman sighed, decided that it probably was fair to assume the teacher was incompetent, and probably high as well, and calmly assured her that it would be dealt with at home.

When the woman went home from work, her son was sitting on his bed and wouldn't look at her.  He wouldn't talk to her, wouldn't hug her, and when she asked him to come sit with her, he began to bawl.  The woman assured him that everyone made mistakes, and that the important thing was to acknowledge it, and learn from it, but to do that one had to decide why the mistake was made.

The little boy said that when he thought about why, it made him feel sick.  Which was not normal for him. That particular young man had told her only yesterday that he had pushed his brother down because the cat had suggested it, and so really, it was the cat's fault.

After a bit of prodding, the little boy emphatically declared that he would not say another word.  Deciding to allow him time to calm down, the woman offered him the option of laying in her bed and watching cartoons for awhile, or coming down to eat with the family.  The little boy jumped up and screamed that he had to eat because he didn't want to get old and sick and die and not see anybody anymore.  He fell back on the bed sobbing.

And she remembered that there wasn't much that mattered compared to that little boy.  Not blackbirds, or annoying stoners, or work...or really anything at all.