So Ben graduated from preschool last night. At least four different people told me (as I was sniffling) that I at least had two more to go. But what about when they graduate in two years? I will have an EMPTY NEST! At least from the hours of 9-4. Sometimes, I think this will be the most glorious event that will ever happen to me. Other days, I feel like rocking back and forth and singing “Dust in the Wind.”
Which brings me to a complaint. “Pomp and Circumstance” (the song, not the individual words, which are lovely) should be banned from graduations. Someone hums the song and I tear up. To hear it playing while my little baby is walking solemnly down an aisle in a miniature graduation gown is enough to send me over the edge.
I do have alternate processional suggestions: “School’s Out” by Alice Cooper would be good, or maybe the theme to the television show Justified (by the gentleman Tone Z) for an edgy, life is going to get hard keep on truckin’, kid, kind of vibe. (This song has got to be the coolest television theme song ever in the history of the world. And I don’t even like rap.)
Then they can all recess to a Sousa march.
I’m feeling especially weary that Ben is moving on thanks to a recent letter I received from our Superintendent. I will highlight some of the good parts:
… there is an activity some kids have engaged in that involves deliberate fainting.
… serious physical and neorological ramifications. This act depletes the brain of oxygen and could result in injuries due to falling, concussions, severe headaches, brain damage, seizues, and possibly even death.
… the reason for engaging in this behavior is to experience a floaty, tingling or high sensation that results from limiting oxygen to the brain.
… warning signs to look for include: frequent severe headaches, inexplicable bruising or lacerations due to falling, bloodshot eyes and/or Petechiae (tiny red dots) on face, changes in attitude (overly aggressive), disorientation and or/ grogginess.
Oh my gosh teenagers are so stupid. I don’t mean to make a blanket statement about all teenagers- of course there are some who are relatively reasonable human beings- but as a group of peoples, they are dumb.
And as an honest-to-goodness fainter, one who has passed out NOT OF HER OWN VOLITION, I take offense to this behavior. It’s kind of like pretending to have cancer when you don’t. Okay, it’s not really like that at all. Still though.
This is why I don’t teach high school. I’m not sure why I majored in Education. I didn’t like high school when I was in high school. Why did I think I’d ever want to go back?
I mean, what do you say to a kid who is purposefully holding his breath until he passes out for a short tingling sensation? Or deliberately choking himself or allowing someone else to choke him until he passes out? For the love of all that is holy, how could this EVER sound like a good idea?
What do you say to a kid who uses Meth on a regular basis? Because apparently “you’re probably going to need your kidneys and liver later in life” isn’t working.
Once, in high school, a "friend" offered me a can of Butane to inhale. I think I said something like, “Um, no. No no. I’d rather not suck dangerous chemicals into my body this evening. But thanks so much for the offer! Really generous.”
Statistically, most people begin engaging in heavy drinking and smoking and drug use between the ages of 10 and 22. If you make it past this age, you are unlikely to ever develop an unhealthy love of pouring dangerous chemicals into your body. This is because as we mature, we become more rational, wary human beings. It is why young gymnasts do so much better in the Olympics than older gymnasts- they have yet to develop that fear of injury. They are still living in the moment.
Combine this fearlessness with a tendency to succumb to the tiniest bit of peer pressure, and Houston, we have a problem.
It’s why, despite everyone telling me how dangerous the sun is (especially on pale skin), I developed countless blistering sunburns in my youth. And now I am about to get my second basal cell carcinoma removed from my face. (Let that be a lesson to you.)
There was never even a chance I was ever going to be tan.
You know what Ben did the other day? He tried to skateboard down the slide. I nearly peed my pants. Fearless.
Though I’m compelled to keep them in a protective bubble for the next 15+ years, I know that is the fear inside me talking. Somehow, parents have to reconcile their fear with their child’s fearlessness. And therein lies the complicated relationship that is between the parent and the child. Everyone just breathe.
I see them long hard times to come.