5 Differences Between My Son's First Day of School Now and in 2023
“Are you excited about the first day of school?” asked no child another child ever. This is a question that is reserved for grown ups and automatically classifies the asker as such. And by such I actually mean lame. Excited isn’t typically the adjective that comes to mind when you’re a child contemplating the first day of prison, math-hell, the rest of your life school. There’s a very short window in the life of a child for experiencing first-day-of-school-generated excitement and it’s after they’ve already had a taste of it - because can you really get excited before you know what all the “excitement” is about? – and before school goes all Mr. Hyde on you.
My four-year-old is starting JK tomorrow and he’s a with- it kind of guy. Enough to understand that the proper answer to the artificially enthusiastic grown up “Are you EXCITED about the first day of school, buddy??” is an “mmmyeah” while studying your feet and contemplating creepy crawler murder.
So mmmyeah, he’s positively not excited, which is about the only similarity I can think of between the first day of school 2013 and first day of school 2023 (I just threw up in my mouth a little bit). I played a little Find the Differences Game with myself thinking of my four-year-old son’s upcoming JK experience vs.his future school days as an aftershave-happy fourteen-year-old. I came up with five categories of difference.
- Wardrobe Choices: Questionable? Peut être, but at least they’re all mine these days.
- Entourage: I’m showing up to school tomorrow and guess what, just try to stop me and you’ve got a tantrumous four-year-old on your hands. Fast forward to 2023? Not so much. To all of the above.
- Transparency: I’ll admit it right here and right now. It was not easy but I did (occasionally) get the nursery school inside scoop. I knew a whole lot about music time. A probable slip of the tongue eventually revealed the existence of tidy-up-time and a song to go with it (Everybody Tidy Up to the music of London Bridge is Falling Down. You’re welcome). I don’t know enough about the mystery that is calendar time. I know I’ll have to apply the same interrogation tactics and expect the same level of transparency from JK. As for Junior high? Yeah, right.
- Socialization (and by that I mean mine, of course): Gotta hand it to him, he put up a good fight but I knew them all by names and actions and, yeah, I sometimes got to hang out with them at drop off and pick up. Chelsea was the one he was serious about. Addy is the one he had flirtatious conversations about poop with. Addison talked about him to her mom but didn’t talk to him except for when nature called both their names at the same time. Alessia was the one he butted heads with, but not literally. That would be me. In ten years time the only socialization I expect will be with equally oblivious moms trying to figure out if our kids are dating.
- Show and Tell: will mean something else entirely.
I look forward to the beginning of this experience tomorrow and to proving myself right and even wrong. Happy first day of school, kids, aren’t you excited??
Did I forget anything? What differences did you find between your kids’ early first school days and more recent ones?