Jan 21, 2011

Real Life and Theoretical

I kept my 5 year old home from school today.  Because he wanted to stay home and hang out with me. We played sword fight, Legos, read books, and watched PBS shows.  When the elementary school called to inform me of his absence, it was like a loud speaker announcing that I don't value education.  Mostly because it was on the loud speaker from the answering machine.  My 10 year old son heard it and complained that I never let him take a day off kindergarten.  I tried to explain that I am evolving as a parent but he didn't get it.

20 years ago, fresh out of college, I had a lot of strong opinions about education and parenting.  I disdained parents who kept their children home with a little sniffle.  I felt nothing short of hostility for parents who checked a child out of school to babysit another child.  In my high-and-mighty opinion, education was the pinnacle of showing love to a child.

Then I was introduced to Real Life.

In Real Life, we do use the television as a babysitter.  In Real Life, the dog is put in charge of the toddler while we make a carpool run (with PBS blaring the background).  In Real Life, doctors appointments can only be scheduled during the school day and in an effort to make sure a child comes home safely and another child has a babysitter, we check the first child out of school 45 minutes early to babysit the other.  In Real Life theoretical becomes intriguing rather than practical.  In Real Life we take our children out to lunch when they're having a bad day just because we can.

In Real Life we let our babies take a day off of school so we can play cars for no reason at all.  Except that he asked.  Just this once.  And two weeks ago...

8 comments:

Sandy said...

What is so amusing- is this is coming from a High School Counselor. Nancy you know very well what this kind of thinking will get you down the road. A senior who needs 27 credits to graduate! Just kidding! I agree, Real Life is what matters.

Riahli said...

Ah yes... Real Life...

Keep Your Sunny Side Up said...

I love Real Life..especially when it means lunch with your high schooler and a relaxing afternoon together!

Hillori said...

I used to be the perfect parent. Then I had children. Then I became real, and learned what was best, perfect or not.

M-Cat said...

I'm laughing at Sandy's comment.
Especially since I was the mom who checked the kids out "for a doctor's appointment" and we really went to the movies. And yes, there was significant worry that 2 of my 3 wouldn't graduate. They did by the skin of their teeth.

But we like each other and they are turning out to be decent human beings so, keep in touch with REAL LIFE

Klin said...

And this is because not all education takes place in the classroom. Most of it takes place at home. And yes, I do use this line with administrators when I am taking my children out of school for a trip to Mississippi to take toys to children who lost theirs in Hurricane Katrina. I got my pre approval so that it didn't count against them with grades. They passed all their classes that term. :)

Hadley Family said...

thanks for this!

CountessLaurie said...

Babies are so spoiled. I should know. I am one :-)