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Kindergartner among 14,200 to start school

By Carolina Astrain
Aug. 27, 2012 at 3:27 a.m.
Updated Aug. 28, 2012 at 3:28 a.m.

Kindergarten student Christian Hinojosa  follows his mother Caressa to his classroom at DeLeon Elementary School on the first day of school. Hundreds of students began classes in the Victoria school district  Monday.

Kindergarten student Christian Hinojosa follows his mother Caressa to his classroom at DeLeon Elementary School on the first day of school. Hundreds of students began classes in the Victoria school district Monday.   Frank Tilley for The Victoria Advocate

Christian Hinojosa battled with his mom Caressa over what he was going to wear Monday morning.

Christian was fighting for a superhero tee, but his mother insisted on the forest green polo they had purchased days ago for the occasion.

Christian was one of more than 14,000 students in the Victoria public schools to start classes Monday.

On his way to the first day of kindergarten, all Christian talked about was missing the last two years of his life in Korea.

"I ate lots of rice and chicken," Christian said. "We had a dog named Zoe."

The 5-year-old son of an Army sergeant moved back to his hometown to start school while his father finishes his tour in Germany.

His hair was brushed and his glasses were wiped by 7 a.m.

"Dad wants to say bye to you," shouted Christian to his mother.

Christian brought the family iPad to the living room. His mother sat next to him to say goodbye to U.S. Army Sgt. Jeremy Hinojosa via Skype.

A crustless peanut butter and grape jelly sandwich awaited Christian on the wooden dining room table. His tongue glazed over a loose tooth while he ate.

"I am a little nervous," said Christian dangling his red and white Puma tennis shoes underneath his chair.

But once his blue camouflage backpack was strapped on, the 3-foot, 6-inch child transformed into a working man on his way to conquer the world.

His mother tucked Christian's sleeping mat under her arm, grabbed the homemade scones for his teacher and they were out the door, in the car and ready.

Mothers in scrubs and fathers with cameras walked their children down the street as the Hinojosas pulled up to DeLeon Elementary School.

"That's my gym right there," said Christian, alluding to his previous visit to the campus during orientation.

While walking backward to his classroom, Christian reminisced about a bee sting he survived last year.

"Kadoosh," thundered Christian, reviving the sound of his bee sting.

Once he got to his classroom, Christian and his mother waded through a garden of pink dresses and shirts in search of his name on one of the knee-high desks.

Hinojosa took out her teal-colored iPhone and snapped several photos. She took her last glances at her son in the small green polo shirt sitting at his new desk.

"Since we moved back we haven't really met anybody his age," Hinojosa said. "School will help him make new friends."

Hinojosa is also a student. She started school at Victoria College last week.

In her temporary newfound freedom, Hinojosa drove back home to dive into text books of her own.

"It's exciting to know that we're both going through this," she said. "We're going to have homework time together."

As the afternoon school bells rang later that day and Hinojosa scooped up Christian for violin lessons.

"I made a lot of new friends," Christian said. "My neighbor, Trevor, is nice. We both have the same favorite color - gold."

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