I’d love to write a really sappy post about how my baby is growing up. About how quickly time passes and how it’s important to cherish every moment you have.
I’ve love to, but I won’t. Because in theory, that’s all true. But it’s not exactly how I’m feeling.
I’m actually feeling an incredible sense of pride that it took 180 days to go from this…
In those 180 days, he’s learned reading, writing, addition, subtraction, the lifecycle of a butterfly, the lifecycle of a frog, how to grow a garden, and how to get annoyed at teachers.
We talk about kindergarten and all the rules. Just today, he told me how ridiculous it was that they had to sit on the carpet for so long in criss-cross applesauce style. Because his legs got tired of sitting that way and he wanted to stretch them. I had a hard time arguing with that one. My legs would get tired of sitting that way.
But it’s been mostly interesting to hear about his year from his 5 year old and then 6 year old perspective.
At the beginning of the year, for example, he was upset because the kids were being mean to him. Maybe they were or maybe he simply misunderstood their intentions. The reality is that he was put in a social situation that he had to adjust to, and adjust he did.
He complained about getting hurt in gym class and his P.E. teacher shrugging it off saying, “You’re alright, Evan.” Evan was appalled that he didn’t coddle him. I told him his teacher was probably just trying to toughen him up. He said, “I think the P.E. teachers are all jerks.” I doubt P.E. will ever be his favorite class but then again, it wasn’t mine either.
He came home mad at the music teacher. He interrupted his lesson to tell her he had lost his first tooth the night before. Apparently, she deemed the information and the timing of the delivery of that information to be inappropriate. Personally, I think she should have shown more interest. It’s his first tooth! It’s exciting!
And then there were the stories from the kids. This one said you can die from mushroom poisoning just from touching one. That one said that she once found a leprechaun and a pot of gold. I was constantly assuring him that what came of out the mouths of his classmates was sometimes embellished non-fiction at best and complete fiction at worst.
(As for the girl who insisted she found a pot of gold, I told him to request that she bring it in for Show and Tell. As you can guess, that never happened.)
It was a little easier for me to dispel some of the myths, though, because I knew all the kids in his class. I was able to volunteer in the classroom once a month. As a result of volunteering, I learned several important things:
1. The style of the teachers
2. The personalities of the kids
3. That I made the right choice to leave education many years ago
Being in the classroom was so helpful for me because I could talk about the different kids by name. Alice said that? I wouldn’t believe her. You know she’s always making up stories. Jacob poured the dried beans on the floor? Did he have to go to yellow?
I was able to speak the same language. I knew what it meant when the teacher said salami and I knew how bad it was if someone “got on red.” I knew how exciting it was when the kindergartners were finally allowed to buy “extras.”
In some regards, I’m sorry the school year is over. It was nice to have the days to actually work in my office and focus on writing. It was good to able to run to the office or run errands without the thought of childcare.
But in most ways, I’m so glad it’s over. I’m not a morning person. Neither is my husband. Neither is my son. Even with his school starting at 9:15am, we still couldn’t get it together in the mornings. I’m glad I won’t have to face that scolding look of the woman in the front office asking if we’re late again.
And more importantly, in between the freelancing and writing and housekeeping that takes up most of my waking hours, I’ll have this little guy with me all summer. And I do plan to cherish every moment.