Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Preschool and a Reunion

Today Charlie started his first day of preschool.  I know – it is hard to believe!  It seemed like just yesterday I was wrapping his chubby limbs into a blanket like a burrito and changing his diapers…oh wait, that does still happen sometimes.

We are fortunate to have a preschool in our small town.  It is located at the same church that we attend, and the teacher has a degree in Elementary Education with a minor in Early Childhood Education.  And there are only 6 kids in his class!

We’ve been talking for weeks about his new preschool, and the morning went about its usual business of Charlie refusing to eat anything for breakfast besides milk, or going to the bathroom and combing his hair, and stalling for what seemed like an eternity to get dressed…so much for some enthusiasm.

I knew the chances of getting him to stand still in a picture were slim, so I just acted like the paparazzi instead.  Here he is modeling his new backpack, which he picked out himself.  I tried to convince him to get the dog or monkey, but he insisted on getting the frog.

 Here he is walking to the school.

And then fiddling with an ancient pencil sharpener.  Have fun with this guy! 

Charlie had a good day at preschool, aside from the meltdown that he had the last 15 minutes when he didn’t want to clean-up.  I opened the door to his fake wail of a cry and closed it shut for a couple of seconds before entering to his tornado of emotions.

Don’t get me wrong – I love my kid, but I am not ashamed to say I’ll be enjoying my two and half hour break from him two days a week.  He needs some direction from someone other than a relative, and no amount of medication meditation can do what some time apart from each other can do.  Levi doesn’t mind having all of my attention during that time either.  However, I do cherish these times because before we know it he’ll be graduating high school!

Speaking of high school, two weekends ago I had my 10 year reunion.  I never really thought that I would attend any of my high school reunions, but this one happened to fall on a weekend that the Minnesota State Fair was going on so we decided that we might as well go and visit my parents as well.

My high school experience was different from Travis’s, and will be much different than those of our boys.  I had a class of just under 800 students, which is just about 100 short of the population of the town that we now live near.  Travis had a class of 46.  The kindergarten class that is just started this fall has 30 students.

I went to a total of five different schools within my district (based on age groups).  Aside from going to kindergarten at another local school, Travis went to the same location for school from 1st though 12th grades.  Our boys will go to the same location for their entire schooling (unless the district does something drastic like consolidate).

My class reunion was interesting.  It was at the 508 Bar in downtown Minneapolis.  You had the married conservatives (by dress) like Travis and I, and then the single party crowd that was hoochin’ it up, and everything in between.  I am pretty sure that I was the only one out of my class that is living on a farm in rural North Dakota.

Travis and I were joking that he should have worn his late grandpa’s cowboy boots and hat just to play it up. However, I would not be able to keep a straight face looking at him by myself let alone in a crowd of yuppies. And I mean that in a loving way. After all, I used to be one of them: young, ambitious, and well-educated city-dwellers who had a professional career and an affluent lifestyle.

It was nice to catch up with a couple people that I had as friends in middle school and a handful of girls that I played softball with, but I was reminded why I do not wish the same experience on my children as I had growing up in upper-middle class suburbia.  By the time I was halfway through high school I was ready to get the hell out of there and move far, far away.

I hope my boys don’t do the same.  I hope that they have many fond memories of their school days.  Come graduation, they can move out of the house as long as I still have complete control of them can keep tabs on them.  They can go to college an hour away (GO BISON!), but not four.

And as long as Charlie keeps that frog backpack and disheveled hair.

Happy first day of preschool Charlie!


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