On Monday Zeke will start kindergarten. We have worked with him to ensure he has a solid foundation to begin his education. He can count to 100 and beyond. He can sound out words and spell a few too. We have filled out all of the required paperwork. I am a member of the PTA and thanks to my friend Jill (Jill, I hope you are reading this) I signed up to help with all of his class parties. All of his school supplies are already in his class and he has a cool new backpack and lunchbox. Zeke is a creative kid who makes friends easily. The firefighter and I really felt we had done everything and more to prepare our newly minted kindergartner for school…
Then, last night it hit me.
We don’t have ipods. Nor do we know what music kids listen to these days. We listen to Veggie Tales and Mumford and Sons. So if Larry the Cucumber or a heavily accented group of Europeans didn’t sing it, my kid doesn’t know it. We don’t have cable either. So whatever is cool on the Disney channel (if that is still “the” kid channel) is foreign to our boy. We watch Wheel of Fortune a couple of times a week, but something tells me that won’t impress. Zeke loves all superheroes, but he has only seen a few cartoon versions of superhero movies. He has never seen any of the current action-packed blockbusters. We feel showing our imaginative(illogical) child a movie with a character he adores and dresses up as jumping from the top of a building to save the day is just asking for a trip to the emergency room.
Also, we are pretty conservative on sweets and junk food. Zeke will hear the words Dr. Pepper, Pringles, and Oreos and think he is learning a new language. Zeke would dress exclusively in costumes if we would let him. I saw kiddos at the school’s open house wearing fashionably(expensive) distressed, ripped jeans. Zeke saw them too and later told me it looked like it would be alright for him to wear his old jeans to school. His hand-me-down threadbare pants that he has shredded from playing outside, running, falling, and wrestling our dog. Not quite the same. The other day he saw a very trendy boy wearing a man scarf. Zeke thought it looked pretty cool, so he tried to emulate it by twisting and tying his cape. Also not the same. But he thought it was great.
So maybe coolness is a state of mind? Maybe being a fun kid who is comfortable in his own skin is all that matters? Maybe I will pick him up from school to find his classmates all singing the Veggie Tale song “His Cheeseburger” while wearing their nap mats as capes…
Or maybe I should start working on some Pop Culture Flashcards.