Yesterday, I ran into a friend whose daughter is the same age as Rain. They went to preschool together for a year and a half, have attended each other’s birthdays and had play dates. I asked my friend how school was going for her daughter. She told me how much her daughter likes getting ready for school in the morning, how she’s asking to ride the bus instead of being picked up, how she loves having a spot to hang her backpack.
I’ve been thinking of these things the last two weeks as I remembered to slow down in the school zones on my way to work, as I watched the kids in the new sneakers and backpacks walking to the front doors of the school two-by-two and smiling, as I noted the adorable rows of bikes on the bike rack.
There’s this little part of me, deep down, that feels like I’m depriving Rain of all those things.
In many ways, I liked school. I have a lot of fond memories:
Clearly I was a bit of a nerd, but man, I really loved those things and I still kind of do. It makes me smile to think of Rain experiencing it all and part of me is sad to think that he is missing out. And part of me is sad that I am missing out on living it again vicariously through him.
I have to remember however that Rain isn’t a mini-me. He would rather be building in the garage or digging for worms than sitting at a neat row of desks, and unlike my friend’s daughter, Rain hates getting dressed and ready to go anywhere, let alone to spend 6 hours in the company of 22 peers. I also remind myself some of the ways schools have changed since I was there. I think about the ways I felt let down by my education.
But this week, I find myself wistfully wishing that public school really was the idealized version that exists in my memories.
What did you love about elementary school?