Watching a kind of hell unravel before my eyes. That is how I would describe the horrible moments leading up to yet another bout of violent sickness becoming visibly closer to erupting out of the tired, dried out mouth of my miserably ache-y 6 year old. Reflecting now upon the half of me that finds the first sentence I’ve written here long winded, and snickering with the half of me that loves the first sentence so much, and thinks I’m so clever. I feel deathly ill for the sake of my son and his 55th hour missed of school. Hour, not day. I have no good idea on earth why my son loves school, but he sincerely adores it. It may be more understandable if I consider the fact that the school work I had 23 years ago was not even remotely as interesting as the technological playplace our children have . It is easy to see why the really smart kids just keep getting smarter, but it also makes sense that the same kind of kids that fell behind when I was a child are still falling behind today. It’s not because of their attitude, their status, or their intelligence, if you ask me.
One thing I notice about the same category of kids that don’t do as well today, their parents may not be neglectful, but you can really tell what kind of quality time they put in with their kids, and the common ground on these kids, rich or poor, black or white, is the amount of concern they have for one on one time, and the kind of investment they put into time with their kids. Is it so outrageous to want to hang out with your kids? Is it that hard to want to know how your kids are feeling or wanting to tell them a story of your favorite childhood memory?
Let’s forget about their poor faces when you have to say no that you can’t sleep in their bed tonight. And just forget how weird they act when they’ve spent the night at gramma’s, and you feel guilty you’ve been a neglectful mother by allowing anyone else to watch over them as they sleep. Think about a kid actually being completely unable to get attention from a parent that does not think of them as a human being, at least not enough to give them any kind of special time to themselves.
There are many reasons why a kid may fall behind, obviously. I don’t mean to suggest that every child who doesn’t excel at learning in a set structure is neglected. Not at all. I am aware of jobs and commitments. I’m not talking about time that must be spent away from your family, I’m talking about using the time you do have with your kids to do something meaningful with them, or say something meaningful to them, or just get face to face on their level and talk to them about anything they want to. It takes such little time and means so much to them.
The kids that I see now and saw as a child not being able to succeed are the ones that don’t have someone personally invested in them. It can be a rich kid, poor kid, black kid, or white kid. When you have a child who feels like they mean something to someone, they do so much better at everything.
I absolutely am on a rant. I didn’t even mean to get on one. I just feel as though sometimes things get out of hand with everything in every day life that I am more worried about cleaning than I am listening to a story about Captain Hook and the Jolly Roger, watching the speed of a car Pokemon attack versus any kind of miscellaneous made up monster or bouncy ball, or listening to Jingle Bells, Batman Smells for the thirtieth time on the ever more obnoxious microphone. I have to remind myself what is really important. I have to keep reminding myself.
Joanie is the elder sister of The Sisters Curious. She writes from home and wants to one day actually make some money off of her carry on sentences.