Fifth grade graduation ceremony. Fifth grade graduation party. Church Fair. Last day of school party. End of year picnic. Field Day. Ice Cream Social.
When does it end? Kids will be kids, that I get. Fun is fun and they deserve to have some, that’s true too. But sheesh! Stuff like picking up gifts for the religious ed teachers I loved so much, or sports coaches who are wonderful to my kids get put on the back burner to a constant stream of events I have to muddle through on the daily. And trust me when I say that I’m all good with having a hand at making happy children. I just wonder when we will have something come and go without having to throw a party! Because believe me, I throw parties whenever I can, but I try to make them about some universal celebration like St. Patty’s Day or Cinco De Mayo.
I just cannot believe how many celebratory events my children are participating in for the next few weeks. For my entire elementary school career, my friends and I remember having ONE field day at the end of the year, and the teachers ran the whole thing. There were no parents there, it was a school function that occurred at school by the people who get paid to do that. Since none of us had a parent there, none of us had a parent who looked better than someone else’s. All parents were equal in the eyes of ye public school in 1982.
That being not the point, I am suggesting that maybe there was something that made field day somuchsuperfun when you are 10 because it was the big shabang you waited in anticipation for all Spring. You knew that when Field day came, school was OVER. That was it, the end. We didn’t start with a succession of parties for a month before – oh no. We were doing math and writing book reports into June. Business as usual because the teachers weren’t being distracted by party plans and neither were students. We were all just waiting for FIELD DAY to make it official.
Yes, ’tis a different day now. Regular life gets really boring in bewteen party after party. Every sleepover requires a sundae bar, every breakfast whipped cream on top, every evening in the yard requires s’mores by the campfire. Every movie needs popcorn, every hot day needs a suit and water the minute they walk in the door from school. Exactly when, I wonder, are we able to endure just “regular” anymore? Being bored. Being hot. Being without dessert.
I can blame myself to a degree, this I know, but to another degree I blame the mommy socialites who nose their way into school to become the unofficial elementary school party planning committee. They are often the ones who turn regular into over-the-top, leaving kids like the ones who live at my address very dissapointed when bells and whilstles will not be provided on every given Tuesday night because, well, it’s Tuesday!
Overall I blame no one, I recognize it is a sign of the times. But these “times” have been proving lately that most of our practices are built on a ver y skewed value system and I for one see it in many small and subtle ways right in my own home with my children. I have to constantly check myself and my husband when the “I wants” get the best of us. I feel like it would be nice to see a more simpler, pared-down approach to the end of the school year. We moms could concentrate more on our goals at home and students and teachers can put more energy into focusing on their goals at school. Period.
Then when the year finally does end, maybe we will actually be able to tell the difference between school and “summer fun” rather than blurring the lines between what are meant to be two very different modes of life.