One Shoe Tree For Five Sticks!

After a very full summer with the boys, I am sorry to see them go back to school. And also, I am delighted.

While I am pensive about the huge transitions into new schools for both of them, my delight comes from realizing that they will be back with kids their own age – and someone will think their jokes are funny again.

Both of them have their moments, of course, and I have had some deep and meaningful conversations with both boys. I think they are brilliant and creative, and I love to hear about their thoughts. So this morning, when I was in the midst of one such conversation – or so I thought – I realized that we were in “kid mode” instead.

Dylan: “This is my 11th year of school.”

Me: “It’s your 13th year. You started preschool at age 2.”

Dylan: “This is my 13th year of school.”

Me: “It’s a lot, I know. I still have mixed feelings about sending you to preschool at two. I wanted so badly for you to have a social life, and I didn’t want you to wait. But also, there are studies that say that kids who are in preschool are more prepared for kindergarten, and have an easier time in school….”

[Here I launch into a five-minute essay about when I did my student teaching in a kindergarten, and how parental influences also affect a child’s progress in school. This, I think, is where I lost Dylan.]

Me (still): “…Some kids can’t even count to ten. You were counting to ten when you were two.”

Dylan: “Mom! Mom!”

Me (still): “Actually, one of my all-time favorite memories was on your first day of preschool…”

Dylan: “Mom!”

Me (interrupted): “I wasn’t done! What do you want?”

Dylan: “One shoe tree for five sticks!”

Me: “What?”

Dylan: “You know, one-two-three-four-five-six? One shoe tree for five sticks!”

And this is when I gave up. I didn’t tell my story about Dylan’s first day of preschool, partially because I was so irritated by his interruption, and partially because he’s already heard it 17 times anyway. Maybe someday I will write a blog about it.

Meanwhile, though, I need to learn to shut up. I forget that, even if I am not lecturing, I talk way too much – both for kids, and for males – and I need to, sometimes, just be quiet and listen.

It’s a lesson I expect to learn hundreds of times, again, before I die.

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