Principally Speaking

We'll Keep Getting Stronger

On Being 9

As I stand at our kitchen sink cleaning dishes (we seem to do this a lot these days), I see my nine-year old son outside at our neighbor's house. Now this is not your "typical" neighbor's house. You see, he owns his own business, and maybe I am exaggerating, but it seems as though every night he pulls up with another type of vehicle - one day a box truck, the next day a pick-up truck, and the next day a tow truck. What is not an exaggeration is that he is almost always involved in some type of project, and it's usually a project that requires tearing up some part of his yard. The latest project is the installation of a drain around the house so as to stop water from going into his basement.

As I gaze out the kitchen window, I see my son and two of the neighbor's kids climbing in and out of a large hole that had been excavated that day. On top of the hole they have placed an old bookshelf (doesn't everyone have one of them in their backyard?) as a cover for their "fort." Every once in a while my son reappears from the hole, and each time he is a little dirtier. As I watch I think to myself, "Oh, to be nine again."

When I was nine, I remember coming home from school every day, dropping my books (we never used a bookbag), and running outside to play football or street hockey for hours on end. In fact, the only time I would come back inside was when I heard my mom call, "Dinnertime." What great memories I have of my childhood days after school.

As I watch my son get dirtier and dirtier, a sad feeling comes over me, not because of what I am witnessing, but because I am not sure I witness it enough. You see, many nights I find my wife and/or myself driving to soccer or baseball or dance or some other activity, and I begin to ask why? Why am I determined to have my kids involved in so many organized activities? Is it because I think my son will be the next great soccer goalie, get a scholarship to college, and turn pro? We know the odds of that are slim to none! Is it because everyone else is doing it, and I am afraid my kids will miss out? Maybe. Or is it because that's just what we do in 2013? Whatever the reason, as I stand at the window and watch my son, I wonder to myself whether he and his brother and sisters will have the same great memories of childhood that I have.

"Son, it looks like your having a blast out there in your fort today. I think we'll skip soccer practice tonight!"

Important November Dates

6th - End of 1st Marking Period (11:55 AM dismissal)

8th - BINGO Night (H&S Meeting @ 6PM priot to Bingo Night)

18th - Report Cards Distributed

22nd - No School for Kindergarten Only (Conferences)

25th - No school for Kindergarten Only (Conferences)

26th - Early Dismissal (11:55 AM)

27th - 29th (No school)