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August 31, 2013

Josh Drespling: Wishing your days away? Think like a first-grader

NEW CASTLE — Schooooool’s back forever!

Despite Alice Cooper's cries of school being out forever and being blown to pieces, we will, in fact, have to endure another nine treacherous months of pencils, rulebooks, and teacher's dirty looks.

Most kids delight in the end of school and the disappearance of the discipline and regimen of public school. But not my daughter! It took her several weeks to get over the end of school in June. She was upset that she wouldn’t see her teacher and her friends every day. She actually cried herself to sleep several nights thinking about what she was missing.

Now that summer vacation has faded into oblivion, she has informed us that she is going to remain a perpetual first-grader rather than advance to second grade. She also told me that she thought summer vacation was stupid and all kids should go to school all the time because they would learn more.

These revelations are not a typical school-age child's fantasies, but more the mindset of a mature and informed person. Some have said she has an old soul — whatever that means. While most other children are wishing to live their lives in fast-forward, she is content with her present. Perhaps she knows the importance of preserving one's youth and savoring the events that make up our lives.

On the other hand, she may just be scared of change and the unknown.

Most of us, like those fancy-filled children, have wished our lives away. Desiring we were in the next grade or in high school. Then we couldn’t wait until we were 16 to get that illustrious driver's license. Then we couldn't stand to wait another moment to be a senior, to graduate, and to start college. We raced through college to that first real job. Before we knew it, we were getting married, having kids and buying houses.

In a brief reflective moment, we looked around and wished that we were young again and anticipating prom, homecoming, or that big football game. How quickly the minutes of time have crumbled away and left only the ghosts of events and a series of heartwarming memories. We look over our shoulders to our old friends and our pasts only to realize that it has flown by in a matter of seconds.

Maybe we should have been content to stay in first grade and not wished those precious days away. If we were all satisfied with our surroundings and happy with ourselves, this world may be a much more peaceful place.

Maybe my daughter is onto something here. We could learn a little something from her innocence, her principles, and her class (yes, another Alice Cooper reference).


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