Time for school

Tomorrow marks a new chapter in Zoe’s life. She’ll start elementary school. I can’t believe time has gone by so quickly. Here I am on the doorstep to one of the most exciting and equally frightening beginning of an important chapter in my daughter’s life.

I wonder what it’ll be like for her. I remember vaguely I couldn’t wait to start school. I picked up writing when I was four. My grandparents used to have a huge blackboard put up by the kitchen. I remember grandpa writing down all sorts of orders for his food business and grandma would make sticky rice buns while reading the board. Whenever there was a little space on that board, I would quickly drop my toys, grab a piece of chalk and try to mimic grandpa’s handwriting. Of course, to this day, my penmanship does not compare to his but then again, he’s several decades ahead of me. When my aunts noticed this, I was quickly put next to them as they did their homework and I tried to mimic them. That fire was never extinguished and once I got to start elementary school, I was thrilled. I finally had access to unlimited knowledge. My upbringing taught me many things and one thing that keeps recurring in my head is that knowledge is power and you can never have enough of it. I was like a sponge, even in subjects that I struggled with. By third grade, I was terrible at English and I swore I would be the best of my class before 6th grade. An achievement I reached and by 7th grade, I was put in Mr Miller’s English class, the best one in my school. My competitive nature had me finishing cursive handwriting the same week it was introduced to my class.

I don’t know what drove me. I just know that a fire was lit and I was in the middle of it. It burned fiercely and it still does to this day. I don’t even know how I retained it. I never was encouraged at home to do well in school, at least not in the way you’d expect it to be. I could come home with 100% on any test and I would be met with you only got 100%? Acing tests and finishing top of my class was never enough, maybe that combined with my competitive nature made me want to learn more and do better, or whatever is the equivalent to being the best of your class. I also remember being ashamed for coming home with a 96% result. The first time it happened, I was seriously thinking of ways to erase it from existence. I don’t want this for Zoe. I don’t want her to feel fear of showing me any results that aren’t 100%. I don’t know how to enforce her curiosity without throwing her off of it. I want to lit the same fire in her that I had. I know she has it because I see it every day. I just don’t know how to do it without triggering the lazy nerve that she has as well. I know she’s competitive but I also don’t want to be the type that goes When I was your age… That’s not at all inspiring.

I am thankful, though, that she will have something I never had. She has parents that are capable of helping her with her homework. I mean, she’ll have the full support she’ll ever need. Or at least until she is in high school and needs help with logarithms, that’ll be my exit cue.

I know I want to be the one she looks up to and says Mom, because of you, I didn’t give up. She’s the one. I just don’t know how.

//Cae; I know, I know, worrying about it makes me a better person 


One Reply to “Time for school”

  1. Dear Caely,

    When I met you, Zoe was a little bean inside you. Now she’s starting school. Wow. It sounds like she has the foundation she needs to succeed in her parents, her mother, in particular. ;) It doesn’t surprise me that you did so well in school. I was a slacker in what didn’t interest me, which included history, science and math.
    As for cursive, I didn’t have very neat handwriting until 5th grade. I attribute my good handwriting to a classmate I couldn’t stand. She had gorgeous handwriting which my teacher (wasn’t too crazy about her either) use to brag about in front of the class Not to be outdone, I took a handwriting book home every night. My mother was so proud of my achievement, she would take my papers to work just to share my handwriting.
    My maternal advice would be to relax and not try to figure everything out at once. You and Zoe will figure it out. No doubt you’ll stumble along the way…we all do. Meanwhile give her (and yourself) a hug from Blog Mom/Grandma across the sea.

    Shalom and lotsa love,


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