Saturday, June 1, 2013
last day of school
I have a little bit of hippy-mom in me and truly, truly love the indulgence of free time, free thought, free play.
School is a necessity. And, I've learned--not overnight, mind you--that routine and expectations are essential to the proper development of a child. I thought I would be the mom who would let them skip school, at least once a year, just to have a fun day with me. Rollin' like a couple of fugitives. Eating cake for breakfast and dodging police cruisers in the park...the only evidence of us being the echo of our laughter against the trees as we duck out of sight onto trails thick with brush (and probably poison ivy).
Nope...no skipping school. Although, I did pick up my kindergartener early once this year to buy the first spring flowers of the year. I did this with a clean conscience because kindergarten is not legally required in the state of Indiana, and I was only taking her out one whole hour early. As we crept away from the school, inconspicuously in a mint green minivan, she explained to me that she told the teacher she had to leave early to go to Lowe's to get flowers. I kinda grimaced at the expose, but shook it off quickly in exchange for the feeling of brazen rebelliousness. Born to be wild...yeah...that was us, with our potting soil and daffodils.
It didn't take long into their school careers for my kids to sense my disregard for homework. Maybe because I waited until bedtime to ask if they even had any. Maybe because I huffed and rolled my eyes at the sheer audacity of it. Maybe because I realized that homework for them was, in all actuality, homework for me. In the elementary grades, I've found they don't always know what they are supposed to do with the worksheet crumpled in the bottom of their backpacks (and, yes...they do have a folder for such things). So, we parents smooth out the wrinkles, furrow our brow, and read the instructions, trying to decipher the current, super-optimistic-love-to-learn-K-12 vernacular. What is a lattice?
"Everyday Math" has helped me to appreciate my archaic education. When numbers had an indisputable value. A value that was. It didn't change. You didn't just keep guessing numbers until you eventually reached the answer, that interestingly enough, had a concrete value to begin with.
The point is: even though education has changed a little over the years, I'm not making a comment on the efficiency or effectiveness of the current system, I just know what school means to my life now, as a mom. And, after 180 days of packing lunches and dropping and picking up and being the enforcer for the teacher that sends work home, it's nice to get a break, for all of us.
When the end-of-year testing is complete, and field day pumps warm blood into their atrophied muscles, and heat rolls in steady and thick, and the long days cry out for exertion and basking and rambling... Aimlessly.... Indulgently....
Then it is summer.
The grind has reached a brief hiatus. And, we slow with carelessly. We race to activity. We pulse with excitement to drip with heat and stomp in the dew and chase fireflies and burst with light and dance with the color of every long-awaited summer day.