First Grade: My Experience vs. My Son’s

The Transformers - The Movie (20th Anniversary Special Edition)I remember First Grade. I remember being that age. It’s not like I can remember every single thing that ever happened to me back then, but I’ve got snippets clear as day. I had a good friend named Benji–he gave me a digital watch that was metal, not plastic. I thought that was pretty darn cool, even if the face had a bit of a crack in it. I remember pretending I was Indiana Jones. I remember looking forward to recess–the jungle gym was awesome, and swinging was pretty darn cool, too. I remember looking forward to afternoon cartoons: Transformers and GI Joe were pretty much as awesome as you could get. (Although I personally preferred Transformers to GI Joe, since the Joes could get kinda preachy with that whole “And knowing is half the battle” thing. Still, I wasn’t above a little Sesame Street or Mr. Rogers on the side. Now and then. If I got really lucky, I could catch a bit of the A-Team. Mr. T was as cool as you could get–everybody knew that. I remember looking in awe at the third and fourth graders. They were all so grown up. So mature. One day, I’d be them. Lords of the school. I remember lusting after an Atari. If I could just get one of those, my life would be complete. Playing with He-Man action figures. Life was good.

On one hand, that’s forever ago. On the other, I remember being that age. Feeling like that. So I really feel like I can relate to TRC–to what he’s going through and experiencing. I mean, substitute cartoon names and video game systems–update them for today–and he’s got essentially the same experience. Life doesn’t seem to have changed that much in the intervening years. Sure, the video games have better graphics, and he can stream cartoons instead of get them over the air, but as far as a real impact on his life goes, things seem more or less the same.

And yesterday was his last day of First Grade. To celebrate, he decided he wanted root beer floats. He’s looking forward to summer vacation: a trip to Europe, four weeks in Slovakia, swim lessons, reading a ton, watching cartoons . . .

I’d like 2.5 months of time off, too.

Anyway–a big hearty congratulations goes out to TRC. He pulled through with all 1s on his report card (well, a 2 in art, but everyone needs a 2 somewhere, just to keep things interesting). He really enjoys school, he just finished a 412 page book yesterday, and he’s living the life. Sometimes, when I feel like I’m too busy or have too much to worry about, I look at his life–how few cares he has, when you get right down to it. And then I realize that me working hard is totally worth it. I wish every kid could have a carefree childhood. Where your biggest worries are which Bakugan you’re going to take to school today, and your biggest scheduling concern is not sleeping through a cool cartoon in the morning.

Sorry–I’ll stop this post short before I complete lose myself in reminiscing. Carry on with your Thursday, everyone.

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