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It's gonna be a great year

Posted: September 11, 2011 - 8:00am

It’s gonna be a great year

My favorite thing about my daughter going into kindergarten is that when I tell people she’s in public school, I get pained expressions. A light arm touch. Words of hope. I love it. You would think the announcement was related to a curable disease of some sort, sad, but curable.

rowing up, my husband and I attended home-school, private school, Christian school, and public school. He moved around a lot, so that’s why he tried so many schools. I tried different types of schooling, because I was emotional, so my parents did the “what the heck will fix our daughter!?” buffet of schools. (I better move through this subject before it takes me into dark territory.) So we are not fooled by titles and stereotypes. They can all be a blessing with the right kind of tolerance and support systems, amirite?

This brings me back to the subject of my daughter. My school-aged daughter has officially started her schooling career.

She was sick the first week of school, so she stayed home. We pretended she was too cool for school and a self-declared dropout. We sat home and watched Spongebob, while those other shmucks were forced to rub elbows with each other during lunch time. Eventually she started school with my undying support saying, “Suck it up, buttercup. Go get yourself learned.” And while school shopping I was tempted to buy her every shirt that says “Mom Rocks!” before she realizes they are both humiliating and untrue.

The first day she was at school my toddler and I sat on the couch staring at each other. One thing that concerned me was the look on my son’s face. It’s as if he was thinking, “Oh my word, lady. Drink your coffee and get out of my face.” I didn’t really realize what a handful he is on his own. When I dress him, it is like juggling jellyfish. He is slippery and instead of stinging me, somehow during the process I just got roundhouse kicked in the face.

Sometimes when I pick him up he does this thing where he runs up my torso, knowing I won’t drop him (because he will call the authorities), and tries to launch himself off like he’s jumping off of a diving board. But the diving board is my neck. Awesome. Sometimes he has this sneaky smile on his face like if I’m not careful he’ll Norman Bates me. His style of mischief involves a good mind game on the side. Like if he does something bad, knows he got caught, but he sees any wince of a smile on my part, he gets slant-eyed and will do it again, but much more witty so I’ll laugh. Then he’ll start laughing with me like we’re old chums just hanging out having a good laugh. Nevermind the shattered glass on the floor and the candy stuffed in his pants.

I can’t wait until he starts kindergarten.

I signed up to volunteer in my daughter’s class. That’s a joke. I will be wearing the side ponytail and a Bieber shirt (they make those in adult sizes, no?). They will probably second guess how that background check panned out. My style with kids is to encourage bad behavior for the sake of fun. Mainly, because watching terrible reality shows isn’t working for me anymore. Laughing at 40-something-year-old whiney rich women with faces that don’t emote when they cry is no longer fun. The drama of Sami and Ron has driven me to eternal boredom. The Bachelor-what? Ugh. Adults are lame. Challenging a 4th grader to put an entire gummy worm in his nose before I can? Win. Getting a kindergartener to buy me a cookie with Monopoly money, but when they get turned down, I JUST can’t understand how this happened? Priceless. Maybe at recess we’ll play hide and go seek, but I’ll take a random bathroom break. Maybe if we’re on a field trip I will make rude noises on the bus and blame it on the wheels on the bus that go round and round! I can’t wait to volunteer!

Here’s the thing. Our kids are precious. Whether you have six kids (sounds like my husband’s big family. But he’s Irish, so it doesn’t count.) or one kid (Does that even exist anymore?), please be supportive to the local schools. They always need volunteers, but more important, they appreciate them. Schools do fundraisers, and hey, it won’t kill you to buy a dry cupcake or some neon green wrapping paper. Do it. Find someone and buy stuff. Encourage your teachers. And faculty. If you home-school your kids, get connected with others to stay motivated! This will be a great school year!

And now I need to run, because I am late picking up my daughter.

Kasi McClure enjoys being a wife and mother of two in Kenai. She can be reached at columnkasi@gmail.com.

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