Dada…Dammit: Issue 3

WHEN I WAS FOUR

I can remember waking up around 7 a.m. and having breakfast with my sister before she left for school. We lived far out in the countryside of Kentucky in a time when things weren’t as accessible as they are today. An hour and a half bus ride in the boonies was a lot easier for a parent than driving their child fifteen minutes away. Plus, one learned a lot on that bus ride (another story, another day). I remember wanting to go to this thing called school with my sister. My mother said “Soon it’ll be your turn.”

My daughter will be turning four soon and she too is eager to go to school. All she sees are other children playing together, out in fields, running wild. On the surface it looks like a lot of fun and so I feel bad breaking it to her that it’s not all play time. She doesn’t attend preschool. The few we’ve applied to have been booked through the roof. And I just feel like sending her to preschool now is not only a waste of money, but also a waste of our time. I’m frightened of what she will learn from the other kids. She can already say her alphabet, knows the sounds of letters, she can count nearly to 100 and she can do some addition. We’re working on spelling. She takes dance classes; tap and pre-ballet. She sucks horribly at both. I couldn’t be more proud honestly. So what is it that she’d really learn in preschool?

I can remember watching Sesame Street and Super Friends and Scooby Doo among other cartoons. They weren’t on all day like today’s Disney Channels, Sprout, or Nick stations. And we didn’t have iPads and apps. I played with my toys-GI Joes and Star Wars, He-Man and Transformers, and Superheroes of all kinds. I played Legos and blocks and used my imagination. Besides the technological advancements not much has changed, although I press Allyson to learn a lot more than I did at four years old.

I want the most for her. I want her to do well in school and learn. But I can’t help but wonder if this is what we were cut out for. In a lot of ways I wish we could trade this subdivision house for farm land and let her run wild, lathered in sunscreen, and play in the mud. I could always let her play in the fire ant infested yard I suppose. If only there was a white picket fence to trap her in the yard from the 50 mph dead end county road traffic. At the end of the day I suppose it’s her inquisitive nature and questioning mind that I hope to engender the most and a child’s imagination is the very best step toward such a thing.

Until next time,

SK

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