Its a funny title for a post that marks the beginning of school for my dear little monkey. My first baby. My little boy. But what I’ve learned this past summer is that I no longer control the environment he is exposed to. Its is the beginning of the end. It is the end of the time where I or his father are The. Most.Influential.People. Even when monkey was in daycare, it was carefully selected to meet with our core values & beliefs. Gay daycare provider FTW.
When your child attends a daycare on the university campus, the parents/guardians of the children are all associated with the university. Usually you share common values with the parents. Values about education, empathy, community building. Additionally, when one of the care providers is an openly gay male, you know that no LGBT hates are going to be around your child. We had jewish, devout muslims, athesiats, agonists, hindus and sikhs in monkey’s class. Inclusiveness, acceptance, and empathy were paramount.
Public school is an whole other ballgame. Although the university daycare had families from hugely different economic levels (broke ass students to two business faculty member families). The lowest social / education level was a student getting their undergraduate degree. Now monkey is with a much wider socio-economic mix. I have no issue with this; its important for my children to be friends with people from all different walks of life.
But with this comes the challenges of explaining and teaching my son that just because child N is talking rudely, being mean, doing xyz etc does not mean he gets to. Its reinforcing the idea that just because life is not a carebears tea party, doesn’t mean we can shouldn’t strive to be good decent people. Standing up for those who can not is important.
While on his summer camp, monkey picked up mannerism and attitudes that made me crinch. I would double down on him why certain things weren’t cool. All I can do is hope that I’ve built a strong foundation in his character and keep building it. But my baby is no baby.
Its doesn’t help that his sister is refusing to stay a baby.
I read somewhere that with children the days drag on but years fly by.
I can’t believe that my son is going to school. My baby girl is a full on toddler. My heart breaks and bursts with pride all at the same time.