Remember when you just had your baby and everybody and their mother felt it was necessary to warn you that your two-week-old sweetheart would be grown and gone before you knew it? "In the blink of an eye..." my mother said, and dammit if she wasn't right (again)!
My two week old bundle will be five-years-old this summer; worse yet, she starts kindergarten next year. Every day, I hop out of the shower, dreading the long walk to the mirror. "I'll bet that f-ing wrinkle is ten times worse today." I think to myself (and I'm usually right). It's weird... we both seem to be getting older, at rapid speeds, but only one of us is able to face the changes in a reflective piece of glass. The other just cries in her pillow late-night, wishing she could afford a good plastic surgeon.
I was thinking about high school today, and all the meanness that bleeds from the walls within. I thought about what it's going to be like when my daughter gets to that point... and my heart sunk into a dark hole that I haven't seen in years. Okay, I'll admit; it probably doesn't help that I watch Nancy Grace almost as often as I brush my teeth, and the stories seem to get more and more disturbing every day, but I'm oddly obsessed with the society we live in, especially when it comes to child safety. The bullying, the cliques, the gun-slinging control freaks... where does it end?
I have my daughter in a private preschool, and have since she was two. It's a fantastic school with an innovative approach to teaching that has allowed her to learn and grow in a creative and thoughtful way. One thing that really attracted me to this school was the kindness of the children. I noticed, from the very first time I came to visit, that they were all very sweet to one another and were extremely good listeners. I remember visiting their little lunchroom during my tour... we opened the door and were greeted by six little ladies and gentlemen, seated neatly around a tiny table eating snacks. They looked up, smiled and waved, then went back to eating their snacks--but you could have heard an ant sneeze from a mile away. "Wow!" I laughed, "I've never seen so many kids in one room be this quiet. Is this staged?"
Today, while talking to the Director at their second campus, I broke down in tears. "What am I going to do if you don't get the K-12 up and running by the time she's ready for 1st grade?! I know if she stays here, I won't have to worry about her being bullied, ignored or abused (in more ways than one). There's no way one teacher can pay that much attention to 20+ kids: no way, it's not possible! I don't want my little girl to ever go through what we went through as kids, so you better be ready for me to start lighting a serious fire under your ass, cause that's what I plan on doing... soon!" We laughed, I cried... but we both understood the reality of which I spoke.
I know I can't watch over her 24/7, but there's a pretty good chance I can play a hand in creating a safe and happy environment for her to continue learning. I wish every school offered every kid this type of growth... I'm willing to bet, that the world would be a much happier place if we took better care of young minds--and I don't just mean in school. It's amazing to me how many parents don't even read to their children, much less join in on an occasional tea party--look around parents, our kids are getting meaner! Advice: either stop procreating or start paying attention to those little people you brought into this BIG world. In a blink... no kidding!