Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Back-to-School

When I was a kid, "Back to School" was truly cause for celebration. It screamed new stuff: clothes, school supplies, maybe a new shot at being "cool". (Two out of three isn't too bad!) If only I had a MasterCard in sixth grade for all those things that money can't buy!

I wish it were that simple. Now, as an adult, it's the signal that it's time to blow the budget and try to afford a "cool" wardrobe for your kid and "fun" school supplies. Anything to make school seem as enticing as computer games, Netflix and swimming pools. It's also a time to rest, drink in the calm before the storm, and wait for the inevitable social issues that seem inherent. I know from experience that the best wardrobe and coolest book-bag aren't really a factor when it comes to having a successful school year.

On one hand you'd like to cry, because as a stay-at-home-mom for his little brother you're loosing your only conversationalist until 3:30. (So what if most of those conversations are about superheros?) On the other, you'd like to cry because you're sending your child into what you know is the front line of a tiny battlefield. Between temperament, maturity and stature, you look your child over - wishing the apple could have fallen just a little farther from the tree. It was tough to go through the first time. God bless the late bloomers of the world.

Anyway, here's hoping the world has become a little gentler in the last 30 years. Here's a toast to everything being balanced. Maybe, though the world at times seems more hard-core, it's balanced out by more tolerant thinking and awareness. Or maybe it's balanced out by vigilante parents, like me, leaving a post-it note on the car door of that GROWN MAN that was imitating the kid's stutter at the park the other day.

No, of course I didn't hit him (in the gut or with my car). I was just trying to even the universe out a little bit. You're welcome Karma. I hope he spent as much time looking for non-existent damage as I will spend trying to figure out how to best deal with this situation in the future. I'm pretty sure my off-the-cuff initial response leaves a little to be desired. I am apparently the definition of passive-aggressive.

Anyway, here's to a great school year. May the grown nerds, geeks and runts of the the world find a way to better guide their little ones toward social success. May the teachers be more aware of bullying and less tolerant of it. May the jerks who are being ignorant jerk examples to their children fall short of raising more ignorant jerks...and maybe choke.