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...