the Ginger Menace
So The Ginger Menace had a shining moment today. Even though I had an appointment I just had to stick around for his special day, when he would get a turn to take attendance to the office, be the teachers assistant and most importantly and fabulously ring the bell. As he took hold of the brass coloured tinkler his face broke into a stupid happy grin and he happily clanged away to my burst of parental applause. Happiness.
I can’t believe it has been a month since he started junior kindergarten and life utterly transformed to something new. These are the tiny ginger steps he will make to whatever is in his future, and just thinking about the things he will do and the places he will go with his education brings an anticipatory grin to my face. We have had some up and downs while we adjust, mostly due to him telling me he does not need to go to school because he “already knows everything.” I tell him, “if you want to be a palaeontologist you need to get your butt to school.” He needs to go and as importantly, I need him to go.
For me the sudden new amount of time has meant a flurry of activity attacking life’s “to do” list, and making some startling headway. Now he is spending so much time away from home it has made me take a second look at what he comes back to, and what he will bring with him when he comes. He is going to be learning at an exponential rate and I felt like I needed to reflect and support the kind of new learning environment he was encountering.
In my quest to reorganize the house I realized there was a way to involve him in the process and make the time we spent together more simplified, focusedm and stress free. I started with my favourite place, the craft cupboard. I think I was channeling my primary school teacher mom when I Googled pictures of pencil crayons, markers, play dough, scissors, etc. Then I printed out the words for the pictures and The Menace took great pleasure in taping them to IKEA boxes. He loves tape…sometime too much!
As I sat back to took a look at the newly found, orderly space, not just for arts and crafts but for all my creative writing projects and supplies, I felt a renewed sense of pride plumped up with a beautiful dose of peace. This is how I want to teach him to make space for the great things to happen in the future. Whether it is palaeontology, a poem or a killer necklace made of macaroni, I want him to have a place to do what he loves at home.
About the Author
Kelly Wilk is a freelance writer and a single mom to three-year-old, red-headed, Irish, Aries terror that now has his own blog. Follow us on PinkPlayMags' new queer parenting blog "The Ginger Menace" (www.pinkplaymags.com). She also has her very own grown up blog for days off called Brave. Creative. Me www.bravecreativeme.com. Illustration by: abwarriner