"Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them." - Henry David Thoreau

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Midnight in the Kindergarten of Good and Evil

The day started with a sleepy optimism as my young one slid out of her bed like a blond-haired Slinky® to prepare for her first day of really-real school. I was pleased by the lack of nervousness and apprehension at the breakfast table. I'm talking about my child, of course...I was a nervous wreck. The first day of Kindergarten qualifies as a Big Damn Deal. It marks the end of toddler-hood and the beginning of a new and scary and amazing and scary and momentous and scary and exciting time.

Oh, did I mention scary?

This is the point where parents lose control of their kids. A time when teachers, coaches, volunteers and other children begin to have a more direct impact on your child's daily life...an impact that can be for good or ill. I don't mind admitting that the idea scares the hell outta me.
NOT my kid's school entrance. Thank God.

What if she makes friends with a kid I don't like?

What if she makes no friends at all?

What if she learns bad words or bad manners or bad habits from the other kids?

What if she doesn't learn anything at all?

What if I worry too much? Too late...

What if she winds up like me?

When I was the age my daughter is now, I was a superstar among my family. I could already read and write. I could memorize and recite the Pledge of Allegiance. My parents thought I was some kind of child prodigy. By the time I was ten, it was obvious that wasn't the case. I peaked at around eight years old. After that, my poor social skills, non-existent math ability, recurrent stuttering and ADD-driven lack of focus kicked in full gear. It was not a winning formula and very frustrating to my parents who had seen such 'potential' in their son early on. Their disappointment was palpable and it left scars that still haunt me today. I don't want my kid to experience that kind of stress and pressure.

So yes, I am a basket case. I know it's only Kindergarten. I simply don't want this to be the first day where life starts to drain the joy from her spirit, one drop at a time. I want to hold on to the bright-eyed, optimistic ball of energy that makes me smile every single day.

While I was at work, I got a text message from Mrs. F. Not all good news.

My little one's first day was long and tiring and she didn't make friends as easily as she usually does. The light had dimmed a bit. But, she's a real trouper. No complaints, no whining and she's ready to go back and do it all over again.

She'll be fine. No one gets through childhood unscathed. I know this. I also know that she will always have people she can rely on when things get rough. The Spawn has a strong support system of family and loved ones who will keep her on the right track and love her unconditionally.

Yes, she will be fine.

The jury is still out on me, though...

1 comment:

  1. Yes she will be fine but I don't know about YOU. It is really scary. She is much more resilient than we are.