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My stepdaughter is starting school today. Kindergarten. Watching her get up this morning, after a summer of sleeping late and not a care in the world brings me back. Sure, it’s “only kindergarten”, but she already knows so much more than I did at her age thanks to pre-k to prepare kids for school. They taught me how to read in first grade, and she already knows her numbers and letters. She practices writing words for fun, and I was shocked when she did a simple word puzzle the other day without asking me for the directions.

We’re a lot alike her and I. She sits down and watches anything science fiction with me, and she likes to read my comic books. She has her own drum kit and guitar, but I am not pushing her to take them seriously yet, because she is at the glorious age when she can make up a song on the fly, and it is so off the wall and bizarre, I have to sit and take note. Kids always do that, make up stuff, and forget it a minute later, because they can always make up something else new. They don’t have all the years of life experience and education we do to taint their imagination.

Despite our similarities, she is not the class clown I was. She seems to obey directions well, and listen to her teachers in a nice shy quiet way. I find this strangely comforting, because by the first grade I was already marked by my teachers as a little hell raiser and did not shake the stigma until I moved to Victoria and kept a more low key approach to my tactics.

Anyway, what a great time to be a five year old with the world at your feet! I find her willingness to learn and the prospect of a blank mind exciting. I’m sure that as she gets older and we see what type of student she will turn into, the missus and I will ride the issues that are soon to come. But for now, her dream of teacher/doctor/singer/firefighter doesn’t seem too far off. I can’t wait to hear about her day.