My Daughter’s First Day of School
The school year started in my little town today, and we sent our daughter off to her first day of kindergarten. She did not want to go. When I asked her why she told me that she was scared.
“You should be scared,” said. “Did you know that one out of three children reports being bullied in school?”
She wasn’t sure what “bullying” meant, so I called her a faggot and pushed her down the stairs. “That’s bullying,” I said.
(For the record, I didn’t push her down all the stairs. Just the top stairs that lead to a landing. She probably fell down, at most, five stairs.)
I also tried to explain to her the pressure her mother and I are going to start applying so that she can get into a good college on academic scholarship. Although she doesn’t have a firm grasp of money yet, she definitely understands that Daddy’s career is in the shitter because that’s what we talk about every night at bedtime. “Daddy’s career is in the shitter,” I say, as I plant a kiss on her forehead. “Good night.”
She also knows that Daddy and Mommy fight a lot about the cost of groceries and about Mommy’s refusal to use coupons, even when Daddy gives her a whole basket full of them for her birthday.
“Stop fighting,” my kids say.
“Get cheaper,” I respond, even though we all know it’s hard for children to get cheaper. The point isn’t that they should actually cost less as people, but more that they should understand that they are the cause of our financial problems.
My son may not be bright enough to get into college anyway, so an academic scholarship isn’t as important for him, but my daughter has shown great promise. I’ve given her two options for college: either win an academic scholarship or get impregnated by a rich kid in high school, marry him, and have his family cover the cost. Obviously another option would be for her to take out student loans, but I would rather she was burdened with a child than by debt. A child at least says “I love you.” A student loan officer never does.
My daughter was also concerned about making new friends. That is an understandable fear, so I explained to her that people with her type of personality just have to work a little harder for people to like them. I suggested that we make a big batch of peanut butter bars to bring to all the kids. She thought that was a great idea, so yesterday we spent the afternoon in the kitchen making our treat and dancing along to the greatest hits from the 80’s, 90’s, and today. This morning I put the bars in her backpack and told her to give them to every kid she sees. “You’ll make friends in no time.”
I was very surprised to receive an irate call from the school later in the morning. Apparently one of the kids she gave a peanut butter bar to has a severe nut allergy and went into anaphylactic shock. Why they were blaming me for another kid’s peanut allergy is beyond me. All he had to say was, “No thank you” when offered the same gooey chocolate treat that everybody else was enjoying so much.
The hospital is keeping the little boy overnight for observation, but I’m told he should be fine and that I should expect a call from the family’s attorney. When I do, I will tell that attorney to suck on my own nut bar.
When the school bus finally pulled up to our driveway this morning, I definitely found myself choking back some tears. After all, your child’s first day of school is their first day of true independence. Soon, she will be a middle schooler, high schooler, and then she’ll be off to some community college somewhere with a couple babies of her own in tow. They grow up so fast, it’s true, but then again, not fast enough. I can’t wait for them to be out of the house.