School Days, School Days

Dear old rotten rule days.
Reading and Writing and 'Rithmatic,
Tuaght to the tune of a hick'ry stick...

Oh, how I miss the old hick'ry stick days. I feel like Mr Filch; "There was a time you'd be hung from your thumbs in the dungeons for this. How I miss the screaming."

Okay, you all know I'm just kidding. But, we're already struggling with the new school rules.

Rule 1 is different this year. Last year rule 1 said that as long as you're making straight A's, I won't get involved in your school work. That bit me in the butt in the second half of the year, when all her classes got changed around and the students that she was getting help from all went away and I didn't know what they were covering in class. So, this year, I am involved from day 1. That is the new rule 1. Embrace it for your own happiness. I am not going away.

Rule 2. I am glad to help you. But, you have to be willing to let me. If you are not willing to let me, then you will be required to attend tutoring from your teachers. On your own time, before or after school. There won't be any more fighting at the dining table, me trying to force you to listen. Been there. Hated that.

Rule 3. Tutoring, even mandatory tutoring, is not a consequence. If your grades slip, you still get consequences as incentive to pay attention to the tutoring.

I love a clear understanding of the rules. And, last night, after I had negotiated with a teacher to let me work with Syd and then she could retake some quizzes, there was a reluctance on Sydney's part to take advantage of my offer, so I didn't push it. After all, she was on a post-volleyball game rush. I shared my prepared lesson and we all went to bed. This morning, I was surprised, but she remembered what I showed her last night. Hee-hee. We celebrate every victory.

Unfortunately, we didn't get to celebrate a volleyball victory. The girls got beat real bad. The "A" team beat themselves. We missed the first game, but in the second game, the "A" team just stood there and watched the ball fall to the floor amidst them, like they were all afraid of it.

Then, "B" team came up. "B" team games at the beginning of season are always more fun that "A" team, until the coaches get the skill levels sorted out. The "B" team girls are trying to impress the coach and get onto "A" team. They play their little hearts out. Syglet is on "B" team and she had a great game last night. She has lots of power and unfortunately, that meant she hit a few out of bounds, but she'll get that worked out with some practice. This morning, she got invited to a special unscheduled practice to see if she can move to "A" team next week. Was it a problem getting her to a special 7am practice? It was not. Glad to do it. She needs the confidence that comes from A team.

Rob and I have apparently made quite the impression at the school, too. Last night, our little group of parents settled around us to watch the games and catch up. There's a single mom that's adopted a daughter from a different race and faces some of the same issues we do. A mom whose daughter has been with Syd in school, after school care, and summer camp, since 4th grade (and ashamedly, I don't know the mom's first name). And, the science teacher recognized us from parent teacher night and came and sat near us with her grandson that she is raising. The coaches recognize us as Sydney's parents and when she served a lightening fast ball out of bounds last night, the coach turned around and looked at me and asked if I'd been feeding her Wheaties. The history teacher was selling tickets and she recognized us. I've been communicating with the spanish teacher. She remembered us from parent/teacher night and wrote me the day after, so we could start working on Sydney's grades...pulling my email from those of all the other parents that filled out the sign up sheet. And, at p/t night, the PTA president recognized us as Sydney's dads from our work last year as did the basketball coach.

When we first became parents, I worried that people would treat Sydney different because she had two dads. I kept my head down and kept quiet and didn't get involved and didn't want them to really notice us. Only one teacher seemed to treat us different and that was in 4th grade, the year we got Syd.

And, even though we didn't make a loud entrance, we apparently have made quite the impression. I've become the parent that sends a hot breakfast to school with my kid every day. We're known for our efforts on grades and discipline.

A friend of Rob's that was adopted and raised by a great dad sent him a text the other day that said we are "the best dads ever, that didn't have to be". That made me cry.

Everybody have a great Friday. In the states, it's a three day weekend. Labor Day. And, I plan to Labor. In the house. In the sewing room. In the yard? No, it's still 105*. But, I'll labor, nonetheless. Without sweat. Cool front next week, tho. It's only supposed to get up to 98*. whoo-hoo. Still no rain.

Take care. Lane


Impera Magna said...

Good luck to Sydney on making the "A" volleyball team!

How wonderful to hear that folks are being accepting and welcoming to you and Rob... maybe we as a culture/community are making progress...

Kathleen said...

Great post, Lane... when I read about you and your partner's acceptance into the community as dads, I remember a friend of mine who was concerned that many gay couples were moving into her neighborhood... she feared her community would change - now she says - yep, it changed - houses are all newly painted - yards are landscaped - place looks fabulous! ... She lives in Key West !!!!
Hopefully all of us are learning to be more accepting of likenesses and differences... have a great weekend.

Paul said...

I love to hear of other parents who are involved in their kids' schooling. My daughter (as you know, also adopted) is still shocked that Trish and I actually KNOW her teachers.

She still tries to "pull the wool over our eyes", 'cuz she's always been able to before. The other day she was starting to tell me something that I wasn't quite sure was the truth, so I opened my phone, scrolled to her principle's name and informed her that I would be calling him to confirm her story if it sounded unreasonable. She was shocked that I actually HAVE her principle's work, home, and cell phone numbers in my directory.

My wife and I are very involved at her school and every time we are there it seems somebody else will say, "Hey Paul, How've you been?" Chyenne inevitably looks at me after every conversation at her school and says, "So, how do you know Him/Her?"

I was asked by a friend 20 years my junior and a new dad, "What is the BEST piece of advice you can give me about raising my kid?" It took me 2 seconds to respond. "KNOW your kid's friends, the parents of the friends, teachers, coaches, mentors, etc. I don't just mean to know who they are, I mean KNOW them. Talk to them, not about your kid, but about life, their beliefs, THEIR kids."

I LOVE that when I walk into the school I don't get more than 50 feet before somebody recognizes me.

You and Rob seem to be doing a fine job with Sydney, not that you need my confirmation to make it true, but I give it anyway.

Great Post. Take Care,

Lynette said...

Oh, I hope she makes the team! :D Good for you guys for being active in her school environ and not letting fears of judgmental fools keep you away! I'm glad that it sounds like people act like adults for the most part. ;D