Playing in my head, today, as I was thinking about going back to school was;
“School days, school days
Dear old golden rule days
Reading and writing’ and rithmetic
Taught to the tune of the hickory stick”
I looked up the lyrics to find the entire song including…
You were my queen in calico
I was your bashful barefoot beau
And you wrote on my slate, “I love you, Joe”
Considering what I would write about, I decided I didn’t like the outdated hickory stick lyric and I wasn’t keen on talking about girls and boys discovering each other in a new light, so I searched for other songs to reference or give me ideas. Every one of the top ten songs about school had something to say about flirting. The fact is; going to school isn’t just about academics. Not only are kids expected to learn history, biology, math, science and a foreign language; they are expected to adopt a sport and/or instrument and find a first “love”. They juggle family relationships and learn to balance increasing levels of independence while treating adults with respect. That’s a lot of pressure for some kids!
I don’t know about you, but my k-12 days were some of the most stressful of my life. I was raised by a divorced single mom with mini-skirts and go-go boots in a time that divorce and single parent households were seriously frowned upon. Although I was adorable and well liked through most of the second grade, sometime over the summer between second and third grade I got chunky. The picture here is from 3rd grade before I started wearing glasses in fourth grade. In fifth grade my face broke out and during sixth grade it was rumored that my mom was dating one of the sixth grade teachers. Trust me that didn’t help. I had an age appropriate crush on our paper boy. Along with the teacher, the paper boy had a crush on my mom.
Until my freshman year in high school, I was the fat kid with glasses and acne. My social skills were underdeveloped. I wasn’t athletic and frankly, although I currently think of myself as smart, back then I was functioning with undiagnosed dyslexia. My teachers reported home that I wasn’t working up to my potential. I was a little bundled up mess.
I know I’m not the only one who struggled. Knowing what I know today, from an adult perspective, I dream of going back in time to tell that little girl, “You are smart, you just don’t know it yet. You’re the biggest kid in your sixth grade class, but you are as big as you’re going to get. The other kids will keep growing. You will be an average size adult and you’ll be considered pretty.” I would put lavender oil on her feet and vetiver down her spine, play with her hair and help her just relax. We would work on releasing fear and insecurity to embrace strengths and possibilities. I have my grandsons to thank for how well I can visualize caring for my younger self. It’s the way I work at caring for them.
Best Wishes for a Wonderful New School Year!!