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    My September roller coaster ride

What is the square root of pi? Who was the 4th Prime Minister of Canada? Which famous Canadian was born with only 3 toes on the left foot? The answers and more coming soon to a school near you.

September is a time for celebrations. It is the time where parents celebrate their freedom from their much beloved offspring. Summer holidays always start out with the greatest of intentions. Take my summer for example. The last week of June and first week of July were jam packed with activities and outings with the kidlings; beaches, swimming, museums, beaches. I have no recollection of the third week of July, since the Burgos household pretty much slept the whole time. Granted we all had great tans, except for William (#2 son) who unfortunately cannot tan, unless you count a bright shade of red a tan.


 Back to school
It was this third week where, as a parent of five kids, I just ran out of steam. Planning for outings gets to be more difficult and laziness starts to settle in and, as most parents will agree, a bored child is a trying child. It also did not help that the weather played a major factor in our decisions on what we could do. At the sake of angering you all about how lousy the weather was this past summer, I will not mention any more of it. But I would like to share with you my new four-letter-word – rain.

September is a time where parents simply have to pack a lunch and entrust the safety and learning of their children to someone else, for free (for most of us). It is a time where the brain cells that they hadn’t used all summer kick into high gear. I’m talking about back-to-school season.

This time of year is a roller coaster of emotions for me. It starts out with anger. Why do schools ask for thirteen #2 HB pencils when they only sell them in 12 packs? Why does my child need to have white-soled sneakers in a world where it seems, only black-soled sneakers are mass-produced? Why can’t my child bring yogurt tubes for snack time? Do you see where my anger lies?

Once you take into account the cost of supplies and clothing for each child, the total equals or surpasses the Gross Domestic Product of many small countries. I’m cheap, so I have no problem scrounging around the dollar stores for supplies, but my wife goes by the “quality not quantity” rule. And every year I surrender because, as a child, image is everything. We Burgoses are not vain by any means, but there must be a statute of limitations on how long you can get away giving your son a Hello Kitty pencil case with matching water bottle and lunch bag.

Once the anger of school supply shopping subsides, it turns to worry and fear. Gavin (#4) will be entering kindergarten this year. I can’t help but worry. How will he cope with a structured setting? Will he learn his ABC’s and 123’s? Will he be able to differentiate between Sir Isaac Newton’s Law of Gravity and Einstein’s Theory of Relativity? My heart goes out to the little guy. I sure hope he likes school. Even if he doesn’t, he has no choice, you’re going pal.

School and I got along for the most part; I never had any complaints. Some days were difficult, but I trudged through it and survived. Mornings on the other hand, school and I didn’t see eye-to-eye.

I am so happy that I leave for work well before the kids have to get up. The morning duties are left to my wife Lizabeth. As she is reading this, she’s most likely approaching the anger section of the roller coaster ride. Lucky gal.

I’ll never forget my first day of school. I’m sure my parents were nervous, yet they never showed it. Fast forward to today, I won’t be nervous for my little guy and trust that his teachers will guide him in the right direction. I’m a perfect example of public education. I turned out all right! Except, I still can’t differentiate between the Theory of Relativity and the Law of Hello Kitty.

Dale manages the Communications Department in a Winnipeg school division and is currently applying white-out to his son’s black-soled shoes.


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