The Writing Mamas Daily Blog

Each day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.

If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.

And for that, you are a goddess.

Monday, October 29, 2007


School Daze

Mimi and I slipped into Tae Kwon Do practice to watch her brother, Jay.

His kicks were high and on target. His smile large. His demeanor confident.

I can’t remember the last time I saw him so happy.

Finally, he had found his passion. The result: a discipline I can’t remember him ever having.

While sitting at the bar area of the studio a man turned to me and asked if Jay was my son.

I said he was. The man said Jay was a very hard worker. He noted that Jay had been a bit overweight when he first came but he was losing weight and it was starting to turn to muscle.

“He arrives two hours early to practice and then spends an hour in class,” he said. “He is very disciplined and very good and he will only get better.”

“What a nice thing for you to say,” I gushed. “Thank you so much. It’s been a difficult time. We’ve had three years of basically failing grades. And he’s so bright, so it’s been hard. Since he started Tae Kwon Do, he comes home, does his homework and is far more focused then he’s been in years. It’s the best thing we’ve ever done, and I’m so happy he’s finally found something he loves."

We waited for Jay to change into his street clothing. On the ride home he immediately launched into an explanation of how an atom is split.

“You know how that’s done, right?” he asked.

I looked at him as if he was crazy. “Jay, of course I do. (Note to readers: I have NO idea.)

“And you know the difference between a proton and a triton, right?

I gave him a sidelong, you’ve got to be kidding, look. “Jay, I’ve been to school,” I said. I didn’t add that I skipped a lot of classes, mostly in math and science.

“And you’ve heard of the string theory, right?”

“Who doesn’t know the string theory?” I asked. I didn’t know the string theory.

All the way home I felt like particles of unknown information were floating in the air as Jay continued to explain how atoms were split.

Me? I wanted to split from the car and go into the house.

Jay, a ninth grader, still had an hour and a half of homework to do that included Mandarin and geometry, both of which he is acing.

Mimi, a first grader, had about 20 minutes worth.


The children spend so much time on it. Back when we were kids, we didn’t do homework. My mother never sat down with me to review it. I survived school by writing papers the night before they were due and getting A’s.

More than once a teacher would say if you just add a couple of lines to this paper you’ll get an A plus. Right. Like I was going to add a couple of lines. An A was an A. Instead, I was going to sneak off and meet up with my friends, Amy and Pam, at the reservoir and smoke pot that they stole from their older sisters.

Times are different. Back then you could avoid homework, get mediocre grades in some classes, A’s in others, be a child left behind and still get into a decent college and go on to have a successful career.

No longer.

High school is the new college. Middle school is the new high school. Elementary school is the new middle school. And preschool is the new elementary school.

Parents may not not have to take the myriad tests that their children do, but with homework, activities, sports, and play dates, there is one important quiz that they must pass: to know when to let their children be kids.

Perhaps a bill should be enacted that stipulates just that.

By Dawn Yun


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ain't it the truth, though! insanity!
ps: so glad jay has found his passion with tae kwon do. the joy of movement can be transforming.
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