End of an Age

First grade and thus an essential end to childhood looms. Monday marks the day when my real battle with materialism, clothing trends, BFF heartbreaks, cell phone envy, and oh my god, so many things I don’t even know about will begin in earnest. You will gasp and shake your head in denial, but those things all existed – in their infancy – in Kindergarten. But that was only three hours a day; that’s somewhat counterable. Seven? I don’t know about seven hours.
Already, in Kindergarten, relatively in order of ascending offensiveness: Evelina was kissed by a boy, excluded from games and secrets, alternatively the most popular and most despised, led severely astray by the misinformation of her tiny peers, taught to fear airplanes because some wretched little urchin filled her head with everything he didn’t know about terrorism, learned that some clothes are “cool” and some aren’t and how to use “sexy” in a sentence. It’s depressing and nauseating.
All that will more than double and intensify in first grade. It’s impossible for me to approach the new school year with excitement and genuine anticipation. I have to be on guard against all these innocence-depleting influences. I have to constantly run around with my arms out shielding, surrounding, gathering mine, punting theirs, rerouting and misdirecting. I’m like this berserk mother hen flapping and throwing feathers while I hop in circles around my brood, squawking maniacally to run off the foxes and wolves. I have to lead off with my insanity these days; the only way to remain un-stuffed with this world’s idiocy is to be crazier than everyone else. I’m sure I gave a fair impression of that in Kindergarten, but this is the year to cement it.
Happily, it’s not necessary to walk the extreme fringe around here in order for stifling ideas to allow a wide berth. Everything here popped out of the same well-oiled silicone Williams-Sonoma pan; somebody had to run a knife around my burnt edges and pry me loose. I might be a little misshapen, but I still taste alright.
Anyway. First grade, you’re on notice.

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