| SILE SINGLETON
It was a great summer, filled with lots of awesome travel experiences: Pride Toronto, Mount Rushmore, the Crazy Horse Monument, Hot Spring’s Mammoth Site, Pittsburgh’s Andy Warhol Museum, The Freedom Center in Cincy and my 51st Family Reunion are just my top highlights.
Needless to say, we had many hours in the car--hey, budget is everything--immersed in conversation. When you have kids, the ramblings invariably turn to assorted tales of their escapades (graying you by the second), your hopes for them (which, according urban myth, they must resist at all cost) and deep analysis of the ways they choose to be their own individual (i.e. not flipping out that my son likes ‘second-hand’ candy…off the floor at church). As a result, the question always comes up, “So when do they go back to school?” Friends and family say, “I bet you’re happy, excited, laughing high-pitched and wildly, as the ‘holiday,’ comes to a close.” As a matter of fact, I kinda worry. And this year’s “back in the day” memories have kicked my anxiety up a notch.
I fret I haven’t gotten vulnerable/re/honest enough on them to really impart practical skills of negotiation, self-preservation, intellectual self-defense, cognitive courage and spiritual faith. When I was yapping away in the car, were they able to grasp my verbal instructions for navigating puberty and the social push for power? Will their familiarity and cognitive ability to articulate their feelings with words like queer, progressive faith, transgender, intergenerational and same-sex equality, help them as future leaders? Are teachers prepared for their inquires about the use of “mom & dad” on administrative paperwork and in classroom word problems? What if they aren’t?
I know I can conjure up some worries and I can already hear the tweets of, “my school was great” “trust”, “believe,” “ it shall be” and “honnneeee we got thru it.” I know … and I still pray my ethereal cape of, “You best get to steppin’ before I, in the words of hound dog Wylie Burp, ‘get cha with my ol’ laaaazy eyeball!’” protects them.
I guess this makes my answer when asked if I’m happy the kids are back in school: “Some days.”