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Kindergarten (Gulp) Roundup

I’ve spent the last few days
Xeroxing and organizing and compiling and color-coding. No, not
taxes – nor are we closing on a house.

It’s time to register Maddie for kindergarten.

Registration is this Thursday afternoon as soon as the elementary
school lets out, and I have to tell you, I’m already
contemplating binge drinking for the day. Do they want to see
Maddie’s original birth certificate, or do they need a copy
for their records? Doesn’t matter, because I’ve got
both, ready to go, in separate piles. I’ve made copies of all
the forms I’ve filled out, with the originals separated
neatly. I’ve confirmed her “emergency contacts”
and filled in home phones, cell phones, and work phones for such an

In short, I’m ready.

But I’m not ready.

When we took our tour of Maddie’s
school a few weeks ago, it really hit me – this isn’t
some warm-and-fuzzy, sing-songs-to-learn-everything, happy-clappy
school. This is real school. Decorating the walls were detailed
drawings of parameciums, and vivisections of a leaf, and a bunch of
other stuff I can’t even remember well enough to tell you
about. This is her inauguration into the world of Academia. This is
the beginning of her (hopefully) long and (hopefully) lustrous
academic career, and the beginning of her Permanent Record.

This is a game changer in Maddie’s life.

I know, I know, snap out of it and get over it all ready.
It’s just kindergarten, for heaven’s sake. She’ll
be making plenty of papier-mache objects and finger-painting and,
perhaps, even learning some songs about Columbus or something.
She’ll still be a kid for quite a while.

But it’s also where Maddie will first encounter bullies, and
not have mom around to help her. Where Maddie will have money for
lunch, and have to make her own choices about what to buy with it.
Where she’ll make new friends – hopefully nice people
– and want to make friends with people who don’t want
to be friends with her. She’ll have her heart broken in many
ways, and her horizons expanded exponentially. The choices she
makes now – buy the chips, or the apple? – are just
harbingers of the choices she’ll be making in a few years
– to smoke that joint, or not to smoke that joint?

And I have this feeling – dear God, I haven’t quite had
enough time with her yet. There’s still so much I need to
teach her, to prepare her for, to enjoy with her. I haven’t
had my fill, and I’m not nearly done. Down panic, down panic.
I can do this.

I’m clinging to the fact that though round-up is tomorrow,
school doesn’t actually start for six more months. And
I’m going to drink in those months until they’re sucked


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