Posted April 20, 2018 08:15:00 I know, it sounds like a cliché, but it’s true.
But I think the best way to understand what kindergarten means to me is to go back and look at my parents’ experience.
I remember the first time I saw my father when I was 3 or 4.
When I was born he was wearing a white T-shirt, a pink hat and a white diaper.
My mother wore a red T-hat and a red sweater.
I had no idea what he was doing in the kitchen.
I didn’t know what he had for breakfast.
I hadn’t even seen the word “Kindergarten” yet.
I was not a child yet, but my mother was a child.
She had never met my father until I was 4 or 5.
And, as a result, I was never allowed to go to the bathroom.
When we were walking down the street, my mother said to me, “You must be hungry.”
When I said I wasn’t, she said, “Don’t be.
You have to go and get food.”
She also said, When you’re a child, you don’t have time to go outside.
You just sit in a chair, you watch TV, you wait in line.
The fact that my mother did not understand the difference between a kindergarten class and a school day is not a coincidence.
I don’t think I would have learned to walk or talk like my father had if my mother hadn’t been there to teach me how to do so.
I never understood why a child who didn’t speak a word would be allowed to learn to read and write.
In my mother’s household, I didn`t have time for sports or reading.
But, when my father came home from school, he was there to help.
He told me he was going to play baseball.
I said, What’s baseball?
He said, I don`t know.
He went to the batting cage and sat on the bench.
When he came back to school, the other kids would come over to play.
They would come to the table, they would sit down, and he would sit in the corner.
He was sitting in a box, like a chair.
He didn`s there for the baseball game.
He couldn`t go to a park or anything.
He just sat there.
I wasn`t allowed to be a part of anything.
I couldn` t sit in my room or I couldn”t play.
I got a ball, and I hit a ball.
And I thought, Well, if I just hit one more time, I`ll hit a lot of home runs.
And so, I would just hit a few home runs and that would make me famous.
And then, I started going to the playground, which was a big playground.
I used to take my toy car and I would ride my toy vehicle around.
And all of a sudden, I had friends who were playing with me.
I played baseball and I was playing catch, and they would say, “Oh, you play football too.”
I would say to them, “Well, I play basketball too.”
And I was like, “No, no, no.
I just play baseball.”
And that was my way of being part of it.
Now, I am part of my parents` life, but I don t see that.
When my father comes home from the school, I think to myself, Why do they even bring him to school?
Because he`s so young.
It`s a part time job.
He has to do it every day.
When they bring him back to the school for the first day of school, they`re bringing him to a very long line of people.
There`s no way for him to sit in one spot.
He is the first person in line for anything.
Then they`ve got to wait in a line of other people.
I mean, how many people are there waiting for the bus?
I can imagine.
And when they bring me back to class, I know that my dad is going to sit down in a spot that is open, but he won`t sit in that spot.
My parents were not only very strict, but they were very strict about being strict with me and with my friends.
So, I did not learn how to be social until I went to kindergarten.
My father`s role as a father is to protect my mother, to give me the space to be an independent child.
I`ve always been like that.
So when I go to school today, I do not feel the same way.
I know what I want to be, and what I am going to be is something that is going on in my world.
I am not going to just sit there and wait for someone to come along and teach me.
And if I am to be taught, I want it to be the best teacher I can be.