Thursday, May 6, 2021

A kindergarten registration email triggers a wave of nostalgia

I'm signed up to receive emails from our school district, and for the most part I find them interesting and informative (even though we only have one child left in the district).

Many aren't necessarily relevant to me, and that's OK. It only takes a second to delete them and be on my way.

One of those messages came over recently. It was a notification of how parents in the district could sign their children up for kindergarten. My first instinct, of course, was to get rid of it because, thankfully, we don't have any 5-year-olds remaining in the house.

But then I stopped and thought about kindergarten registrations and kindergarten experiences from years past. And for all the effort we as parents put in to getting our kids raised and prepared for lives out there of their own, I realized I kind of miss those days.

There was the time, for example, when I came home from work on the day Melanie was going to register for kindergarten. I excitedly asked her, "Mel, how was kindergarten registration?" This prompted a confused look from Melanie and a loud gasp from my wife, who had completely forgotten about the whole thing that day.

(In Terry's defense, her life back then was unending chaos. The fact that she even got dressed in the morning was always impressive to me. And it turned out OK, as we were able to get Mel signed up even after the official registration period, as evidenced by the fact that she did eventually graduate and all.)

I also remember our first kindergarten registration with Elissa, who quite frankly is a genius and was ready to start writing dissertations at age 5. However, one of the skills they evaluated during registration was the ability to cut with scissors, and apparently Elissa had some trouble with that.

We as young parents were of course appalled that anyone would see anything less than perfection in our little girl and were accordingly offended.

Oh the funny things you do when you're a rookie.

Then there's poor Jack, who on his first day of kindergarten got off the bus, walked into the school, realized he had no idea where to go from there, started crying, and eventually had to be rescued by a kindly school aide.

It should be noted that, a year later on the first day of first grade, Terry wanted to walk into the school with Jack to ensure he got to the right room this time, but she was not allowed to go in. And what happened? Yeah, you guessed it. He went in alone, had no idea where to go, started crying, and had to be rescued again.

Poor kid.

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