Friday, October 24, 2008

gold star

So today was Cal's "Gold Star Day." I know, I didn't know what that meant either. Apparently, it's this thing in his class where every kid gets a turn to lead circle time, which so far as I can ascertain involves something with pointers and calendars and talking about the letters and numbers of the week, not unlike on Sesame Street. There may be singing and hand movements somewhere in there. Oh, and by the way, your parents are encouraged to come for the morning to witness your GLORY.

Joe and I could not go to Gold Star Day.

I mean, I suppose we could have if we absolutely needed to, but it would have involved taking a day off work, and since I just started my job a few months ago (and am incidentally hoarding vacation days for maternity leave) and Joe is but a lowly serf fellow, it wasn't exactly something that seemed economical or practical to do, to take a whole day off work just to go to school for forty-five minutes. However, Cal is the last person in the class to have his Gold Star Day, and I have been observing (from the pictures that we get sent home) that everyone's parents goes to their Gold Star Day. Definitely at least one parent, oftentimes both. One kid had four relatives showed up, each with a different piece of photographic or video equipment. I think Cal would have had a fine Gold Star Day regardless of whether Joe or I showed up (he's too young to notice or remember that everyone else's parents were there for their Gold Stars--I'm hoping he'll save the comparisons and recriminations for adolescence), but the precedent that had been set certainly made me feel guilty to think about not being there.

Honestly, how can all these parents just take off work to go to school for the morning? How is that possible? Are they trying to make us look bad? It must be that either one parent doesn't work (outside of the home), one parent works part-time or has extremely flexible hours, or (also highly likely), the parents are so high up at their jobs that it doesn't even matter when they decide to take off or not. You know, like they're the Executive Vice President of Delta Airlines or something like that. Who knows. Or, more likely, they're just better parents than us, and love their kids more. Probably.

Luckily (and this was not planned, though it was fortuitous), Joe's parents are visiting us this weekend. So, like Obama sending the Clintons and his wife out to campaign for him by proxy, so were Joe's parents at school as parent substitutes. Taste great, less filling! Joe's dad even read a story to the class, which went over very well. (He's a retired school principal, so he loves that kind of stuff. Remember, the Principal is your Pal.) And Cal, after some initial shyness about having them there, ended up having a great time. So this allayed the guilt of Joe and I not being there somewhat. Not 100%, but somewhat.

Hopefully they can schedule Cal's next Gold Star Day for January, when, presumably, I'll have some time off.

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