Monday, September 8, 2008

Thoughts on Cootie Insurance

Do little boys still sell cootie insurance on the playground? When I was a kid it was a quarter and acted as protection for the boys. Death would surely come if they had been touched by a girl! yee gads, the horror. My friends would wait until most had paid before we'd chase them with our germy hands. What ever happened to that yearly transaction at recess? Today, I was told that a young mother is considering sending her kindergardener to a private school. Fair enough I thought, having gone to a Catholic school myself. When I found out she's changing schools because there are children in the neighborhood school that the government is helping because of poverty, I cringed. Another new mom told me she's a little concerned herself because some of the kids act up. My heart hurts. They're only five, their hands are so tiny and they have squeeky mouse voices. I was a new mom once so I know where they're coming from. We want to protect them from the world, and try to buy grown up cootie insurance.

In my experience, the best protection for our children is our love and understanding. They will find friends who detour them onto the wrong road but if we remain constant and nurturing, they find themselves back on the main drag. Same goes for the children who appear to have nothing from the beginning. Studies show that if they have had one kind neighbor or teacher, they do grow up to become wonderful people. I would suggest starting with a smile. All young mothers are nervous, especially those who are poor. Their egos are on overdrive and that's why you'll run into tension. For those of us who are older, we can help by offering to buy supplies. New shoes are always welcome as well as nutritious snacks.

1 comment:

  1. This was a great post. I did go to Catholic schools, but there was a wide range of income levels. Here's a friend of mine who teaches third graders in Pasadena, California, where many of her students are from poor families and some don't peak English. You can tell she really loves her students.
    Cathy Sherman (I'm signing in with my book club blog)