Thank God for kindergarten
August 24 2001 by Tony W. Cartledge , BR Editor

Thank God for kindergarten | Friday, Aug. 24, 2001

Friday, Aug. 24, 2001

Thank God for kindergarten

By Tony W. Cartledge BR Editor Robert Fulgum became a well-known and much-published author on the strength of a simple book called "All I Really Needed To Know I Learned in Kindergarten."

I suppose that's why I started out slow in life. The only kindergarten around when I was growing up was a small private affair for town kids, so I had to learn those important lessons about sharing and cleaning up and playing fair somewhere else. I had two younger brothers, so I learned most of them at home. Most of the other lessons I picked up in Sunday School long before I got to first grade at the ripe old age of five.

These thoughts come to mind because our son, Samuel, started kindergarten this week. My first reaction to his first day of school was a fast bit of mental math and the unhappy conclusion that I can forget early retirement, or even "normal" retirement. By the time Samuel finishes with college, I'll be well past 65.

Lots of folks my age (closing in on 50) have grandchildren starting kindergarten this year. Some of them bankrolled so much during the stock market's glory days that they've already retired.

By the time I get to my quiet cottage with time enough to write whatever I want, I may have forgotten what it was I wanted to write about.

Yet, even as I grouse about the long years between now and retirement, I'm taken down a peg by the wonder in Samuel's eyes and his excitement about beginning a new stage in his life.

What changes will he see in the days that are allotted to him? By the time he reaches adulthood, how much of the societal, political, scientific and religious landscape will we still recognize?

Will kindergarten teach him all he needs to meet the challenges of tomorrow?

My concept of the "world's most important jobs" has been reshuffled. I hope the kindergarten teachers of the world don't crack under the pressure.

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8/24/2001 12:00:00 AM by Tony W. Cartledge , BR Editor | with 0 comments
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