Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Elementary Math

Tonight is Johnny's 1st grade music program.

I take tremendous pleasure in these events, which is surprising because I am hands-off in almost every other way regarding his schooling. I'm not a member of the PTA, I dread parent-teacher conferences, and I don't even know how to log into his Student Portal. Do 1st graders have Student Portals? I hear people talk about these things. Hell, I can barely be bothered to keep money loaded into his lunch account.

This is, I understand, my great privilege because he is a good good boy, and loves school days  more than weekends. He told me so himself, after I'd entertained him with a sleepover, a trip to a dog show, some park time, an orange soda, and then a Kentucky Derby party (literally, the kid's day was full of a dog and pony show), and some junk food for dinner.  So the  next day, I put him in his room with the TV and the YouTube and shut the door, shoving bits of ham and raisins under it every now and then. The effect was the same. School is better.

So I don't really concern myself with it. He can read and likes to, and he prefers math to other subjects. My job? Done. Hear those pats? It's me, and my own back.

But the annual spring concert is another thing. This, I can get into. I like to dress him up and put him on stage but he won't try out for anything so this is the one chance I get. Which is really sad because once he gets up there he rocks it. Every hand motion, every clap. He's on it. He sings enthusiastically and clearly. And I love all of that, and seeing his precious classmates, especially that one kid who is up there examining the booger he put in his pocket for later instead of singing about nutritious foods and weather patterns.

But mostly, it's because I remember my school programs. My tiny country school had several every year. Like most things, it's watered down in today's system. Ours were long - or at least they seemed that way - with multiple grades, the band, and some kid's harmonica solo all in the same night. We got new dresses, knee socks, and our mothers curled our bangs. It was SO EXCITING.

So I hope that Johnny's little concerts are memorable and special. I presume they're not such a Big Deal to him, but really, we have kids because of reliving our own personal journeys, right?

Anyway, this year I will take him for his concert and the customary ice cream after. And I'll have to drop him at his dad's after that which will make me sad, and then I'll have to go get a fancy cocktail to make it all better.

So really, Johnny's 1st grade concert = fancy cocktail for Mama. And that is how we do math, kids.


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