This week I have been hit with the feeling that I grew up in the dark ages. When I was a kid, a week or so before school started, usually prompted by a phone call from one of my sister’s friends, we would pester my mom until she drove us to Oakland Heights Elementary School so we could see the class lists posted on the front glass doors. What followed was either the dance of joy or weeping and gnashing of teeth. We knew exactly which teacher we wanted and which kids we wanted in our class.
Prayers the days before went something like: PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE GOD, don’t make me sit next to a booger eater this year. Or the kid who keeps trying to stick a crayon in my ear. And if THE boy, you know who he is, could be in my class this year, I’d like do something really great to make it up to you. I don’t know what exactly, but I’ll think of something. And I promise you’ll like it. Oh! and I NEEEED my best friend in my class. I’ll absolutely DIE without her.
My mom came with a pen and paper, more times than not the back of an envelope, to write down our school supply list. This was exciting stuff. I loved the beginning of school with new lunch boxes, notebooks, pencils, crayons, rulers and glue. It was so fresh and full of possibility. My sister totally Lorded it over me when she started getting colored pencils, for maps you twerp, not baby pictures with crayons. You can just guess what she was like when she got to take a compass to school. It was a weapon, for crying out loud!
Monkey Boy starts Pre-K4 in two weeks. He’ll be in “big boy school.” But this ain’t his mama’s elementary school. I went to his school’s website and downloaded his class and supply list. I also printed out all the forms necessary to fill out and return to speed the registration process. I actually complained a little that I couldn’t input the information online. “Save a Tree” and all. Another mom from the ParentCrew (not the PTA) called to welcome us. There will be a meet and greet for new parents so that Micheal Keaton won’t end up yelling at me about South to drop off, North to pick up. (this is Mr. Mom reference for all you young ‘uns who read my blog) It’s all very warm, welcoming, helpful and efficient.
Gone are the days of compasses as weapons. The little sisters of the world finally prevailed upon school officials for the “safety compass,” not that he’ll need it for a while. The crayons are now non-toxic. I don’t even know what a “training pencil” is, but I guess I’ll find out. Thank God the Elmer’s glue is the same: something I recognize.
Monkey Boy is excited about his new school. I believe we’ve made a good choice for him. Time will tell us one way or another. It’s so very different from when I started Kindergarten many, many, (yes, many) years ago. But it’s also exactly the same. The beginning of school is still hopeful and promising. It’s still a building of kids full of potential. It’s thrilling to think about what they can be. The kids at his school are limited by almost nothing. He’s the same kind of lucky I was. He will walk into a building of people committed to seeing him become a successful adult. Not every kid gets that. But every kid deserves it.