Yesterday was the first day of school for public schools in New York City. Our kids are probably the last kids in the nation to start school. Annnnnd today and tomorrow they are back home on holiday break for Rosh Hashanah. That was quick. A heartfelt “Shana Tova” to my Jewish friends by the way.
But back to the first day of school…it was bittersweet on several levels.
First, I loved being around los bebes ALL. SUMMER. LONG. A benefit of having a flexible schedule while working on several start-up projects. We got sick of each other at times but we bonded and grew closer. Plus we had some of those fleeting, small, magical moments that make being a Dad priceless. I hope those memories stay with them as long as they will for me…for the rest of my life.
Second, this is a big year for Jr. and Baby Gurl.
After a rough start and a bump or two along the way, Jr. had a very good third grade at school. I’d be lying if said the Mrs. and me are not on pins and needles about fourth grade. Even more home work and “serious” standardized testing looms. Like all parents we want him to flourish, grow, and be disciplined (I can’t believe I just typed disciplined). We just want to minimize last year’s dramas.
By the way - here’s what I remember about fourth grade - I bet my teacher Mrs. Anderson at Harry S. Truman Elementary that Bobby Riggs would beat Billie Jean King in their “tennis match” at the Astrodome. I remember being pretty definitive about it with her. I don’t remember what I bet but man was I a dope. But that’s literally all I really remember. In the grand scheme of things, it’s not that important but right now, it FEELS like it is.
For Baby Gurl, she’s started first grade. This is her third year at our school after pre-K and kindergarten. She’s an old pro at school and her teachers to date have been beyond wonderful - I give them hugs and kisses each time I see them. But it still got me this morning when we dropped her off and I started thinking about how she would change this year.
I’ve got major problems with the U.S. primary and secondary educational systems. They suck the creativity out of our kids.
I’ve been battling unsuccessfully for Jr’s creativity. I’ve seen it first hand how the boy’s interest in art and creativity have been systematically squashed. We’re fighting the good fight but…Jr. doesn’t draw as often as he used to (he was very advanced for his age in first and second grades according to his teachers). Third grade was the beast and I fear fourth will be worse.
Now it’s Baby Gurl’s turn and it makes me sad. I love how she makes up her own stories, writes her books, and sings her songs. I fear that it’s going to be crushed out of her.
So for both we’ll continue to support their creative interests and do the best we can. Man is it tough.
The other thing about Baby Gurl is that she’s growing up…QUICK! Time is flying and that’s scaring me.
In the end, it’s also what is SOOOO exciting about them and having kids in general - fostering what they become as parents and enjoying their growth…until they are teenagers and then all bets are off. Ha!
But both of them liked their new teachers and classes so that’s a start! Here’s to an awesome fourth grade for Jr. and first grade for Baby Gurl.