I remember Samantha’s first day of Kindergarten. I swore I would not be the kind of parent who sat there and sobbed about giving my child up for a whopping two and a half hours to public education. So I took her up to the Kindergarten area where she gathered with all the other five and six-year-olds and she stood quietly against the wall, taking it all in. I would be cool. I would not be one of those needy parents rushing off to the “Tissues and Tears” meeting immediately following the initial drop-off because come on, that’s just silly.
As I watched her standing there waiting for the teachers to come out I suddenly felt light-headed. I thought to myself, So I’m just supposed to walk up and leave her here? Just like that? I’m going to put her in a room with twenty kids where surely half of them are bullies, and numerous staff I've never met where for all I know the janitor is a pedophile, and I just leave her here? Does nobody else see these older, sinister fifth graders walking around trying to be cool and having to walk RIGHT PAST the Kindergarten area where my little innocent girl is going to be standing every day? And who are these crazy parents who just drive up to the curb and drop their kids off to fend for themselves? Can you do that? Who does that? I will never do that.
“Good Morning children!” greeted the enthusiastic teachers who detailed the protocol of the day. I shouted out a final “I love you!” and watched her go into class as if I was sending her like a lamb to the slaughter, then walked to my car.
And I cried.
It is six years later and for the record, I drop my kids off at the curb EVERY DAY, and now my oldest is one of those heretofore described as “sinister” fifth-graders. The other day she came home with a paper detailing the latest fundraiser and it is the first one I have decided to participate in. Because it’s chocolate bars, and who can argue with the value of that? So we have been dutifully selling chocolate bars for the last month.
“Only the 5th graders are doing this one,” Samantha explained.
“Whatever”, I thought. “It’s chocolate, who am I to argue?”
Well, here’s the KICKER people! Do you know why it’s just the fifth graders who are selling the chocolate? Because it’s raising money for something only the FIFTH graders get to do! And do you know what that is boys and girls???? Well naturally, it is for the fifth grade TRIP! And do you know what the fifth grade trip is BOYS AND GIRLS???? Well they’re going to the mountains! FOR THREE DAYS!! WITH NO PARENTS!! FOR THREE DAYS!! THEY WANT TO TAKE MY CHILD FOR AN ENTIRE WEEKEND AND I HAVE BEEN HELPING TO MAKE THAT HAPPEN BY SELLING CHOCOLATE!!
ARE YOU LISTENING TO ME????
What is the world coming to? Preschool has a graduation and now 5th graders have a trip.
I think I’m gonna cry.