I was really young when I realized that I hated having to go to school. Like first grade. And my daughter has recently been having issues with going to school, which made me wonder if she was heading down the same path.
I was in first grade. My mom was regularly babysitting one of my younger brother’s preschool classmates in the afternoon. I was jealous. I wanted to be home playing with them. So at that early age, feeling slightly under the weather, I told my teacher I needed to go home. She called my mom, who picked me up. I was laying low most of the afternoon, but at some point, I decided that I was feeling mostly better–definitely well enough to play fort-builders with my brother and his friend.
That is, until my mom walked in.
She was pretty mad. She told me if I was well enough to play, I was well enough to be at school and in the future, she wasn’t picking me up from school unless I was puking or had a fever.
At that moment, in my very little life experience, I realized that school was going to go on forever. And after that, I’d have to get a job, which I would be obligated to go to every day. And the have-tos would continue my entire life.
My first pang of depression.
When my daughter started school last week, she didn’t have that excitement. She really didn’t want to go. She said she was bored. Then one day, she was sick. She threw up before school and I was forced to keep her home. Two hours later, she was fine. She did cry about her tummy after lunch, but no more vomit, no more heaving…and food stayed down.
I talked to her about returning the next day and being excited to see her friends. She said she couldn’t go to school the next day because her tummy might hurt. I started to think that maybe this was a ploy. She wanted to be home. She didn’t want to be to school. She had that moment when everything seemed endless, hopeless and really depressing.
Or was I projecting?
I really have no way of knowing, but as an attempt to ward off any instances of her hating life so early, I have tried to make going to school exciting and interesting. I’m hoping that she’ll love school and not hate the obligation. Or any obligation. Even the ones that she wants to participate in.
Basically, I hope she doesn’t become me.