I know, I know. I am not the only mother to ever send her kid to school. But it's my first time sending mine to Kindergarten tomorrow so for me, it's a big deal. I remember my first day. I was wracked with nerves because I was terrified they wouldn't let me in because I would sometimes confuse the word rectangle for the word triangle. My boy isn't nervous about it. He can't wait. Clearly, we are different. In many ways. I am glad he's not nervous about the competition yet. He's excited to get homework like his 17 year old cousin who lives here with us.
To commemorate this first day of school occasion, I call on Nemo.
Finding Nemo was one of the first movies we watched with the Little Man. One of these days I am going to have to start calling him something else. The voice that harmonizes so well with mine when we sing Silent Night, will change. Girls will start calling. But just for today, it's only Kindergarten. Someone posted a photo of their new baby on Facebook yesterday and I was like, wow. I remember that...
Redwood Elementary School in Fort Bragg, CA has kicked out some highly talented alumnus, myself included. Hahaha. No, really though. It's a sweet place. Always has been. The playground is different. The corridors are smaller than I remember them but still make the same echo they did nearly 30 years ago. The ice-plant is still growing.
I hope the cafeteria lady is nicer to him and his classmates than ours. We thought of her as the Wicked Witch of the West. She picked on us, or so we thought. Always making us eat our lunches. Pshaw.
When the kid enters into the school system it is the beginning of that individuation process we have heard about but not yet really experienced. I mean, weaning was hard. For both of us, but it was time and so eventually it happened. I partly think I should be tripping on his journey to Kindergarten more than I am.
I saw one mom in the auditorium during the parent meeting this morning who's eyes were red and swollen. I have been there, babe. When I first dropped my Little Man off at Pre-K, that was totally me. The fact is, he's ready.
I could not believe there was a copy of the Pledge of Allegiance next to the clock, just where it was when I went to school there. As much control as we have had over our child's development and understanding and influence, this is the beginning of where Mother Culture comes in. I am referencing Daniel Quinn's Ishmael here. If you haven't read it, check it out. It's a quick philosophical journey about the history of our culture and where it has come.
Really though, Mother Culture is always with us. None of us can be taken us out of context. Like the observer observing the observed. We're all steeped in our culture whether we embrace it or reject it. So even though I say I have had influence over my son since he was born, that isn't wholly true. He has been inundated with all sorts of beliefs, values and speech patterns I don't agree with.
Where am I going with this? I think what it comes down to is just being the best we can be within the paradigm that we're in. (I just revealed myself as a total Northern Californian. ) Our kids are our kids but they are also not our kids. We simply get to be the shepherds. If we're lucky. I do consider myself lucky.
Congratulations on how well you've been able to grow up, Little Man. Your Mamam loves you so very much.