Friday, August 15, 2014

10 Dates on a kids Calendar

The adult world is full of dates.  Thanks to technology we are even more tied to our calendars.  I remember when technology was limited to large business basements and overly nervous business types were relegated to day planners.  They had special boxes to keep the old ones so you could reference them which of course you never did after 1 month.  Now thanks to smart phones, we can be on the spot with everything.  Well Kids have always had calendars, they are just different than ours.

1 - Saturday - This is used to be important as a kid way back when.  That's because this was when you were going to watch cartoons.  Cartoons were on from 8 am to noon and you had your stable of shows you were going to watch.  Now every day is Saturday thanks to cable tv, so it's not at the forefront as much.

2 - Birthday - In the adult world, your birthday is looked at increasingly with disdain.  The cruel march of time plots a path right through your birthday.  In the kid world, your birthday is the most important birthday there is.  Your friends show up and give you presents and you are pretty much allowed to be the brat you are for the better part of the day as long as you don't play it up too much.  Usually a month away from your birthday is when you start really paying attention to how long it takes to get there.  Probably one of the very first days you notice.  Unless you are a member of a multiple birth or share a birthday with a sibling or parent, you also feel like you are probably the only person with your birthday.

3 - Dentist appointment - Besides inoculations, the dentist is your first brush with necessary pain as a child.  You know you hate going and yet your parents, who supposedly love you, are forcing you to go to this madman and his instruments of interrogation.  This is a date of dread.  You don't look forward to it, but rather you look for a reprieve.  With any luck, it won't come.  Your teeth are important.

4 - First Day of School - A new slate, a new dawn!  Same old friends, and some new ones coming.  Really the first day of school and the first couple of weeks are terrific and a great alternative to the doldrums of summer.  Others see it as the first day of your next stretch in the big house.  Nothing more than prison that you have to endure.  At least you can break out those school supplies that your parents bought and show off your new shoes.  2 weeks later, you are reduced to 1 broken eraser a short pencil you found and some paper you jammed into your backpack.  The shoes are a bit scruffy but still very fast and won't see a hole until springtime at the earliest.  Good or bad, Kids know when school is going to start.

5 - Vacation day! - Every family has their own travel traditions.  Some go visit Disney or any of the other fun theme parks.  Other tribes go camping.  Still others have other places they traditionally visit.  Whatever it is.  When you first take off for that vacation it's a magic time.  Junk food restrictions are lifted unless of course your parents are real militant hippies.  You are going on an adventure and it will be nothing but wonder.  At least that's how you'll probably remember it.

6 - TV Day - This is different than Saturday. But another call back to a different time.  During the course of the year there were a few seasons for interesting TV that you would put on your kid calendar.  There was a preview show on network TV that gave you previews of coming Saturday morning cartoons.  Talk about gilding the lilly!  All it really did was make the first episodes of the new cartoon season seem like reruns.  Of course the Holiday shows were all good.  Even Peter Cotton Tail with the Dastardly Iron Tail was worth watching.

7 - Cousins - Actually any family coming over for an extended stay is great if they have kids.  You've got new people to play with!  Usually it's accompanied by going out to eat and maybe seeing a movie.  It usually happens around the holidays or in the summer, but really good cousins make everything better.  In controlled doses.

8 - Last Day of School - With the exception of the first few days of school, school is the child equivalent of a soul crushing job.  You realize that is true once you get your first real soul crushing job, but until then it's school.  Summer represents the freedom that you dream about all year.  No more homework, no more mean teachers.

9 - Holidays - All holidays are counted in a child's mind and are the primary reason for calendars.  Christmas is of course on top of the list followed closely by Halloween.  Then comes Easter and the 4th of July (assuming you are American).  Thanksgiving holds a spot of it's own  and Presidents day and St Patricks day round out the list.  Memorial day, Labor day, Columbus day and Arbor day are not on the list because they have no theme or no day off or represent extra school work.  Those days take you by surprise if you get them off or are nearly completely ignored in the case of Arbor day.

10 - Camp - Camp is a strange place because it's really the first place where you will be given time to be on your own.  Your own boss.  Captain of your own fate.  Sure it's only in stretches of one or two hours, but you know that you are able to determine the direction of those hours.  Camping away from family vacations require a lot of planning and packing.  You need to be able to pack in to where ever you end up.  Usually the first few camping trips are plagued with bad packing putting many items you have no business taking camping based on the 'might need it' principle.  Sometimes Scouts, Sometimes Church, Sometimes just a kids camp in the summer.

Every other day in a childs life happens organically.  You never know where you are going or why.  The actual marking of time is pretty difficult and doesn't develop very well until school.

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