Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Back to School

There are rhythms that push us and move us through the seasons. In earlier times there were plantings and harvests. In my modern life there have always been new beginnings in the fall when school resumed. I loved this kind of fresh start. As a child, a student, and eventually as a teacher, the sense of rebuilding the world after summer vacation gave me a sense of purpose and satisfaction.

The first day of school

Some might argue that my boy didn’t need to go to school. He had just turned one year old! We started Jeep in school because I needed more structure to the crests and troughs of the daddy life. He loved being around other children, and my daddy resources were running a little thin. It turned out to be good for both of us. Despite my far-ranging adventures, I needed more kid activities. I needed colleagues. I needed mom friends. I needed good parent modeling. I got all of this and more.

Jeep needed new friends

We chose a cooperative pre-school, so I worked a shift each week and attended meetings, work parties, and socials throughout the year. This was great for me. It kept me connected to other parents and gave me experience with other children, many of whom were a stage or two older than the Jeep. It gave me a place to go two mornings a week, and (more importantly) it gave me a day off. One morning a week, Jeep was on his own at the pre-school. He was well cared for, and I never worried about him. He never once cried when I left. Jeep is tough like that. He has a lot of him mom in him.

He learned new skills

I often dropped off Jeep and went straight to a nearby golf course. All winter long I played 9 holes at a time, doggedly working on self-improvement and trying to build a handicap. I almost always played alone, walking fast and keeping meticulous scoring. I think I was trying to “get serious” about golf, even as the serious work of my former life was slipping away. I started hitting my driver with force and precision. But the rest of my game went to hell.

He got an early introduction to complex problems

There was another piece of news that shook up the Daddy Life that fall. There was indeed a new beginning, and it had started in Linden’s belly late that summer. Perhaps a bit ahead of schedule, but our Ada has turned out to be an overachiever. We were both elated and a little shocked.

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