The last few articles I’ve written, about the kids and school, possibly came off in a bit of a negative light. Today, I’d like to set a few things straight.
Granted, I really dislike the Christmas concerts — I would be lying to myself if I said otherwise. Nonetheless, I had better get used to them since I have a few more to endure over the next couple of years!
But when it boils down to it, I mean really get down to the important stuff, I admire our school system and the teachers and administrators in it. Yeah, yeah, I have a few off-colour jokes to throw out there in regards to my lack of comprehension when it comes to homework and silly arguments Jamie and I get in over the future of our children’s education — but hey, who doesn’t?
I look at the all-encompassing job that our educators take on, from junior kindergarten to the professors in university, and I cannot help but be awe inspired by their commitment. Their promise is to teach our children the knowledge they will need to be successful members of society.
Lars has always been an anxiety-filled kid. I remember the days before school, when I would nearly go mad trying to understand why he was so upset when his foods touched each other on his Thomas the Tank Engine dinner plate. Or when the scissors didn’t feel exactly perfect in his fingers while we were doing crafts.
There were times when I wanted to rip my hair out while nervousness filled me and I would wonder how I could help him.
It wasn’t until school started that I began to see the answers come fully to light. It was as though the blinders had been removed and there I was wanting to kiss the cheeks, lovingly, of all the teachers he has had or ever would have. Because they helped him in a way that I never knew how to.
I specifically remember a meeting with Lars’s junior kindergarten teacher where she pulled me aside, tenseness flitted through her eyes as she told me she thought it would be wise to hold him back for one more year.
I could tell that she was certain I was going to be taken aback by this or angry or frustrated with her suggestion.
Instead, I felt relived. Relieved that we were on the same page. I was happy to keep Lars in junior kindergarten for two years because it was as plain as day that he was not ready to go to big kid school (maybe that was a bit of the neurotic over-protective Mama talking, maybe).
Now that Sophie is in junior kindergarten, I can see the school system helping her as much as it is my son. Her speech has developed by leaps and bounds, her willingness to play with anybody other than her brother is growing exponentially, and she is excited to learn and discover each time I tell her it is almost school time.
I look at the difference between Lars today and Lars in September and I can only see wonderful changes. It is obvious that each year he spends in school he gains irreplaceable goodness from it. His confidence is soaring higher and higher every day, he is quick with his wits — obviously a trait he has got from me. And he is probably the most sensitive kid I know, something he more than likely got from his Dad.
When they say that it takes a village to raise a child, I can believe it. Without the backing of education systems like the ones in my community, I don’t know what I would do. I can look forward optimistically as my children travel through their adolescence and teenage years, knowing that they are being educated by those who truly care about their future.
And it makes me celebrate in the astonishing support I as a parent have when it comes to these two amazing little people in my life.
So yes, in the past I’ve written with a comedic hand when it comes to our school systems. But please make no mistake when I say that I am utterly grateful to have them as a partnering force when it comes to the education, well-being, and the future prospects for our next generation.
Lindsay Brown is a Sylvan Lake mother of two and freelance columnist.