Nothing Gold

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay. -Robert Frost

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Location: Arlington, Virginia, United States

I am a white American middle class suburban housewife trying desperately to tell herself that that is not who she is. One time I was a glowing young ruffian. Oh my God it was a million years ago.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Sometimes it's hard to be a mom

Levi is going to school in the afternoons now and he absolutely loves it. He loves being with the other kids and learning lots of new things. He is obsessed with the planets now. He loves to tell me all about them including which ones are gaseous. He likes to name them all in order. Including Pluto. We tried to tell him that Pluto isn't a planet, but he doesn't believe us. He learned it at school, so how could it be wrong? This worries me a little. I'm not worried that he'll grow up forever believing that Pluto is a planet, but I'm worried at how impressionable he is and how little I really know about what he's learning at school. I've made the decision to trust the school with my child, and I still think it's a good decision, but it has me worried. I hardly know his teacher at all. As kids move up through the grades, it's not like we interview their new teachers every year to make sure that their philosophies mesh with ours or that they will be good matches with our children. We all know that a really good teacher can make a difference for the rest of a child's life, but would a really bad teacher make that kind of difference too? Especially early on when kids are just getting to know school and deciding if they like it and if they are good at it? It does worry me. For now I'll watch him closely and try not to worry while he's happy and liking school. As time goes on we'll try to strike a balance between instilling a healthy mistrust of authority while still teaching him to be respectful. This whole school business is worrying and confusing.

In other news, Levi had an accident last night while we were sleeping. I got him up and took off his wet clothes and took him into the bathroom. He was so upset. He sobbed and asked, "Why did this happen?" He didn't seem to be looking for an answer, really. I comforted him and put dry clothes on him and put him in bed. My heart broke a little as I wondered how many more times in his life he'll ask that question.


Anonymous Leah said...

I wonder what parents say about me. Today I had a parent come in with her daughter and tell me that her favorite class used to be English and now that there is a new teacher, it is her least favorite. So much time spent trying to win over students and parents and little left to really teach the material.
I need to be a mom I guess so I can experience the other side.

1:14 PM  
Blogger kate said...

Mmmm. I feel for you, Maggie. I feel for all of us parents.

Funny -- I think I've spent a lot more time worrying about the other students than the teachers! Something new for me to worry about. :)

2:52 PM  
Blogger Ken said...

Maggie, by raising Levi to be such a balanced and inquisitive young man, I don't think he will be at risk of much harm from a *bad* teacher. Not to say that a really mean teacher wouldn't be a problem, but just an ineffective teacher would not be that bad, as he is naturally learning all the time. I think an ineffective teacher is more harmful for a child who struggles to learn, which is certainly not the case for Levi!

I think you guys are excellent parents, children are pretty robust (we get more fragile later...), so don't worry too much!

9:13 PM  

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