Thursday, September 1, 2011


Stella started kindergarten today! In a way, I almost feel sorry for the public school system. They have no idea what they're in for. First a round of crippling budget cuts, and then this particular hurricane hits them. They best board up the windows and buy a generator. I'd also recommend filling the bathtub with water.

I suspect Stella will do very well in school, following in the footsteps of her parents, both of whom were good students in elementary school. I stayed a good student for my entire academic career, whereas David eventually discovered the pleasures of not living up to his potential. By the time high school rolled around, he was devoting significant amounts of time to making time with the ladies,engaging in loud and obnoxious socializing, and pursuing a wide-ranging array of misdemeanors. All this is ironic because he went to Catholic school, which you would think would have kept him on the straight and narrow. But apparently God doesn't mind if you feel up Sarah Van Den Heiden in the back of the bus on a field trip.

Anyway, Stella's first day of kindergarten got off to an alarming start. I helped her get on the school bus in the morning, then biked over to the school and scouted out a good spot to stand so I could get a nice photo of her getting off the bus on the first day of school. The bus pulled up and the kids got off one by one, but Stella was not among them. Then the bus closed its doors and drove off.

No Stella.

Where was she?

For lack of any other alternative, I decided that I must have looked away for a split second when she disembarked, as unlikely as that was. So I started looking for her. This was made more difficult by the fact that there were 80 billion kids on the school grounds at that point, and 40 billion parents. That is an exact figure. I counted.

No sign of Stella, but I kept searching, in part because I didn't know what else to do. Meanwhile, I mentally calculated how much I was going to demand when I sued the the school district. It was a very high number.

Then I started to get a little worried. The kids were lining up to go inside and WHERE WAS STELLA?

Just as I was about ready to call the police and demand an Amber Alert, Stella showed up. It turns out that the bus made an initial stop at another door of the school, to let out the kids who have breakfast at school. Stella got swept up in that group and disembarked at the wrong place, and it had taken a couple of minutes for the adults there to sort things out and walk her over to the right place where I was waiting for her. Fortunately, very little fazes Stella, and she didn't even realize anything had gone wrong. I, on the other hand, desperately wanted to throw myself on Stella's neck and sob "I thought I had lost you forever, my little darling!" but I used my smelling salts to revive me.

Once we were inside the school, I walked Stella into her classroom and kissed her the cheek. Stella cheerfully waved goodbye and I waltzed away. I was glad Stella is not the type of kid who cries on the first day of kindergarten. Not that there's anything the matter with that type of kid, mind you. It's just that my type of kid is better.

After her (less eventful, thank god) bus ride home, Stella reported that she had a great day of kindergarten. I think she's going to have a great school career.  As her parents, David and I will try to teach her how to succeed in school as she grows older. I will try to get her to study hard, challenge herself academically and socially, and engage in fun and rewarding extracurricular activities. David, on the other hand, is going to be focused on keeping her away from the back of the bus during field trips.

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