I will also chaperone your junior high dances
September 15, 2011
Dear Jack and Molly, aka my Future Honor Roll Students, Class Presidents, and Valedictorians OBVS,
I can't believe you are both going to school this year. PREschool, but still. SCHOOL. With teachers and worksheets and backpacks and schedules and already I require the services of a personal masseuse to deal with the pressure. The pressure on ME, I should say, as you two cheerfully disappeared into your respective classrooms without so much as a glance at your poor neurotic mother. Seriously, kindergarten will probably kill me.
Parenting.com and Mom Congress want me to tell you how I plan to help you get a great education and support you in all your academic endeavors. Part of me wants to giggle, because again: PRESCHOOL. On the other hand, I think preschool last year was SO great for you, Jack, and after only two days, Molly, you are loving it. Your grandparents are career elementary school teachers and their words constantly ring in my head: "It's so important to have a good start!"
So I think I've pulled THAT off, at least. School has only excellent connotations in our house. I even catch you PLAYING school in your bedroom - Jack whacking the laminated map of the United States with a fairy princess wand, Molly sitting on the bed and listening attentively with the eager stuffed animal students. Neither of you are very forthcoming about what you did that day, but you're constantly spouting facts and observations that I didn't teach you or expose you to, and it's been awesome watching you want to learn more. Even though I AM a little bit tired of spelling out every single word in your nonsensical stories.
That said, you've got a people-pleasing rule-follower of a mother, and I'm realizing that to get and stay involved in your schools and education I'm gonna have to speak up, make myself clear, and take some initiative. Perhaps those things don't SOUND all that huge, kiddos, but you have to realize how much your mother hates the phone, how nervous she gets around throngs of new people, how desperately paranoid she is about doing something the wrong way. While you're working on your letters and numbers and drawing and painting and singing, I'm going to put on my Mom Pants (the yoga variety, natch) and step things up.
Your teachers are going to know me. Your friends are going to know me. Your friends' parents are going to know me. I will become intimately aquainted with your homework. I will have opinions on the books you're reading and the reports you write. I will try very hard to be interested in The Water Cycle and I hope I do not totally fail you when it comes to long division. And one day I will cheer you from the court stands, I will have conferences with your chemistry teacher, I will hound you about that summer reading, and I will be all up in your high school.
But for now? For now you are over the moon about having a lunch box. You are inordinately proud of your construction paper alligator. You describe all of the other preschool kids as your friends, which I happen to think is the height of awesome. I promise to think every single paper and project you bring home is the Absolute Coolest Thing Ever, because they ARE. I will be enthusiastic and impressed and proud and delighted, because I AM. I think we're off to a pretty great school start, kiddos, and I'm so excited to do this with you.