Posts Tagged ‘Parents Day’

Friday was my sons’ very first parent’s day at school. He was so excited for us to come to his kindergarten class and see what he does in a day. When we arrived to his school we saw his class lining up outside getting ready to go inside. When he saw us he got this huge nervous smile as we enthusiastically waved to him. Immediately there was something that caught my eye; I noticed one of his classmates dressed in complete winter gear. This girl had a winter coat, a scarf, hat, gloves, snow pants, and snow boots. I would guess the temperature outside was around sixty five degrees! I was floored by this discovery. At first I laughed because the concept was comical, but then I realized this poor little girls’ parents had to have dressed her, or at least Okayed this prior to her leaving the house. Because of their lack of any resemblance of intelligence she is the one who suffers. I was eager to get inside and catch a glimpse of her parents so I could see this folly with my own eyes. I was not too surprised to discovery they did not attend parents day. Just like last year, I had to endure the haunting sadness from the children’s faces that were left with empty chairs next to them.

When we arrived to his classroom the teacher had set up enough chairs arranged in theater seating to accompany both parents from each child in her class. When my wife and I took our seats and class started we noticed many empty seats. I wrote a post “The Sadness in Their Eyes” back in February or March discussing this same issue when we attended my daughters’ fifth grade parents’ day. I was filled with such sadness as I watched these kids’ whose parents did not show up slouching in their seats with their heads down. The only times they looked up was to check the door to see if their parent was about to walk through the door. I think the kids then were bothered more than the children in my sons’ kindergarten class. Perhaps this is because this is the first time they are experiencing this type of setting; regardless of this I could still see their sadness. I speculate what was going through their little minds wondering why all these parents are here but not mine.

After the morning routine was complete the parents and children were all able to play a counting game, once this was finished we were able to sit at our sons table and watch him work on his letters. He sits at a round table with three other classmates. Sure enough sitting next two us was the girl dressed in complete snow gear. She was so quite and so shy, my wife tried to help her with her letters, but she seemed lost in the concept. She did not speak one word the entire time we were there. Present was another girl sitting at the table with us who also did not have a parent with her. The man sitting next to his son was nice enough to interact with her and help her along. The thing I find ironic is my son and the other boy who had a parent with him; had no trouble with the letter assignment. The two kids in the group without parents there could barely trace the letter let along draw pictures of things starting with said letter.

When we got home I did a post on Facebook about how I felt bad for these kids and asking how parents can do this to their children. I caught backlash from some of my friends criticizing me for judging other parents. They pointed out they may be single parents who work two jobs, or parents whose employer wont let them off work or yada yada yada. The conversation got a little uncomfortable and tense. I in no way tried to judge other parents at least not consciously. I cannot imagine missing these things in my kid’s life.

This will be my last kindergarten parent’s day ever. I will never have this opportunity again, so there is no way I would miss it. When you look at it this way there should be no excuse to not attend these things. Whatever work you have will be there tomorrow. Not only will this be a memory lost for both you and your child, but not attending messes with your children’s’ psyche. I would assume the parents who make justifications for why they can’t come; have never seen the look of depression on their kids faces for them not attending. I would hope if they saw the sadness in their eyes they would change their outlook on this subject.

I am not saying these parents are bad in anyway. I know many of them are shitty parents, but I can’t say they all are. I can understand the work argument. For the longest time I was a corporate scumbag whose only focus was on working my way up the latter, and trying to achieve bigger bonuses, higher pay, and higher status. I would not miss a day of work for any reason. I didn’t care about parent’s day, or any other function for that matter which interfered with my work. I look back at this now filled with regret for all the things I missed. My kids are happy I am no longer this way; I am joyful I am no longer this way,

I am pleased I only need to go to these things for five more years. I am haunted and have nightmares over these poor children. I either have a dream where I am one of those children, or I am the parent and the children appear dead and are just starring at me with sunken eyes and pale skin. I try speaking to them, but the only thing they will say is “why.” This is one creepy ass dream; I had it last year for a few weeks, and I have already had this dream since my son’s parent’s day.

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As I survey the classroom, I see parents sitting with their kids doing projects on parents day. The room is full, yet I see empty chairs. I begin doing a project with my daughter, and I see how happy she is. I become consumed with these empty chairs, I look around the room and see many expressions. I see happiness as parents interact with their children, I see the excitement on the children’s faces as they show off their accomplishments, and still I see those empty chairs. Next to those empty chairs are sad and numb boys and girls sitting by themselves. I counted ten such children and they all had one thing in common; an uncomfortable sadness filled their expressions. They look up at the door from time to time, hoping someone would walk through the door, each time a ray of disappointment embraces their expression.

One of the assignments for the parents was to write ten things they love about their children. The parentless girl sitting behind us was writing what her parents would say. I could tell this girl was starving for attention. I tried my best to interact with her, but seeing what she wrote was heartbreaking. The girl sitting next to her did no work, her head just slumped on her desk. I am sure she was trying to hide her tears. I see the parentless children, looking at the kids whose parents came. I sensed their sadness increasing. My daughters best friend, was one of the parentless children. She said that my dad doesn’t do things like this. She must have been in pain, because my  daughter was concerned about her. I offered to sit with her, but she declined. She sat there with her hands on her head; just staring into space.

The girl sitting next to my daughter, the one who looked up at that door every few minutes, only to be  disappointed every time. Towards the end she was consumed with so much grief she had to leave  the classroom. Finally with two minutes left on parent day she got her wish, her father finally came. I suppose it is better late then never. I was overcome with sadness for these poor kids. I wanted to give each of them a hug, and fill them with positive affirmations. I think what bothered me most, was my realization that I used to be one of those parents.

I was young when I was supposed to be a parent to my oldest son, and I had no interest in school activities. It was not a priority for me, thank god my wife had the correct priorities. I have grown over the years, and I can not imagine missing these important childhood experiences for my children. I enjoyed seeing the happiness on her face, I just wish this happiness could have been shared by all her classmates. I wondered is an activity like this a good idea? Is it fair to expose these parentless children. Is it right to put them through this sadness?

I wondered where these parents were, did they have some big meeting to attend, I would assume there will be many more meetings to attend, but very few parents day. I wondered if these parents were sucking on the bottle, or some other substances. You can clearly see the children who come from homes, which are diseased with addiction. I thought of the parents who had nothing planned for the day, yet chose not to attend. I feel for these children, and to any parents who are reading this remember there is nothing more important then your children.