This one really starts in May of this year. The last two weeks of kindergarten to be exact. As it turns out the first few weeks of kindergarten weren’t really that bad, especially when compared to the maelstrom of it’s final throws. Along with Frank’s birthday occurring in the final week of school there were all manner of events that kept us on the run. And if you have followed Frank’s Place for any length of time you know the only time we like to run is in pursuit of the ice cream truck.
Honestly it’s hard to recall a lot of what went on but it seemed like were signing forms for this thing or that thing, going to weddings of Q & U, luncheons, teacher appreciation events, etc… Now before you go all Silence Dogood on me, I’m pro teacher appreciation. I have no issue with heaping praise and adoration on teachers, especially the one who got Frank off to such a good start in kindergarten.
Plus for that particular event I was dispatched to a rental business that was being less than cooperative. As a retired military person with two small kids I have a lot of pent up aggression. Getting to release just a tiny bit on someone or something is gratifying to say the least. But that’s another story for another blog. Suffice to say the final two weeks of kindergarten assaulted me like the waves from a hurricane smashing the coastline.
Then it was summer. There was golf, and soccer camp, and pool, and some pool, and some pool again, and light-saber battles, and journal writing, and reading, and tent building in the living room and every other freaking room, and Brown Bat Box building, and dance parties, and stifling heat and still more pool. And then it wasn’t summer time anymore. Then it was school time. And that means…
Yep. My oldest born child is starting first grade. “I’m a grader!” as Frank likes to say. Yeah he’s a grader alright. What a weird experience compared to kindergarten.
Then it was all new. Everything for him and me was a new experience. Now… well now he’s a veteran. And old hat as it were. He knows where stuff is, he knows a lot of people there, a lot of people know him (probably cause of his good hair). He’s no stranger to those school halls anymore. It’s probably the first time I could actually see him grow up a bit.
I didn’t really get the sense of getting old because my son is growing up, it was more just bewilderment. When I joined the military in ’89’ this was not where I expected to be. Honestly as dumb as this sounds, I never expected to live this long so I have no fantasy or dream about what I wanted my life to look like. So watching this kid, my kid, walk confidently through the halls of his school as a “grader” is just astounding.
I can tell you that sappy moment didn’t last long. Part of school in the year 2015 is technology. So he has a profile on the school web site that tells me everything; who his teacher will be, his schedule, his grades, etc… Then there is a separate web site for his lunch. Yep his lunch. If he buys lunch at school this will show me when and what and how much. I can add money, transfer money, just do a lot of things with money all designed to let the kid eat lunch. Talk about astounding.
But it was his admin profile that provided the gut punch. Among the various bits of info listed about my kid there is one little stat that jumps off the page and goes right in my shorts: Frank Linardo….. Class of 2027. Let that soak in for a second.
The year 2027 is the year he will graduate high school. Provided of course there is such a thing as high school then and we’ve not all moved off world to planets unknown. For those of you who know me well enough to know the year of my birth you can do the math. For those that don’t, the year 2027 is the same year I turn 60. So much for not getting a sense of aging.
Well that leads us to the next logical question and math problem. If we add three years to that we of course get the year 2030, the year Anne Marie will graduate high school. Just typing that makes me crave a walker with tennis ball feet and milk moistened oatmeal.
No time to daydream though. There are lists, supplies, timetables to be worked out. Tax free weekend is upon us. Are we getting the best deal for that spiral note book? No? To Target then, on the double! Yeah sorry to brag but we are Target people. With good reason though. Minus the gorilla feces toss, the Wal-marts in Knoxville are absolute zoos most of the time. For back to school combat, they are almost uninhabitable.
Ok, supplies in hand, schedule set, off to meet and greet night. No Frank, no ice cream at the meet and greet this year. Ice cream is for non-graders. You’re a grader man! Welcome to the Bigs son. Time to step up your game. But again, like with kindergarten the learning may be more for me than him.
From first impressions and the first week of school it appears we struck gold again as far as his teacher is concerned. But of course she communicates a little differently. As with all new situations there is a new language to navigate so to speak, a new way of doing things.
But we’re getting there. We’re learning, me and him. It’s not that difficult really because he’s a good kid. Low maintenance, respectful of his elders, does his work and doesn’t get in much trouble. I don’t see him making a hallway pass printing press like his old man and a good friend did back in the day.
What a difference 3 years will make though.
Brace yourselves higher learning centers.
I can’t stop it now, she is coming!