One could not pay for the psychoanalysis provided by children for free (sort of).
When the Parent Imperfect is in Boston, he performs (with Liz) a prolonged morning ritual that involves getting Vince and Connie up, fed and off to school with their materials packed up and some sort of lunch in hand. Vince must rise at 6AM each day, but he is remarkably good about that. The PI remembers well that his mother had to consistently resort to tearing the covers off the the bed to rouse him. Does Vince like high school more than his father did?
Since Connie’s school is a “late” school this year, classes don’t begin until 9:30AM (usually later, because the school buses are always late). That means that she begins school well over three hours after Brother Vince first puts his feet on the cold floor next to his bed. This is huge chunk of the PI’s day. Imagine if his work did not allow him scheduling flexibility? Thankfully, Liz’s schedule has also been much more flexible since she left her job in July.
One wonders why the school day in Boston’s high schools begins so early each day, when research consistently suggests the biorhythms at adolescents, especially boys, favor lots of sleep and a schedule that begins later in the day. When asked why start so early, the answers given by the administration of Vince’s school have been two:
“Any change to something like the school start time is so complicated (transport, teacher schedules, food and other support services) that we can’t consider it right now.”
“Many high school students need to work after school, and a later start/end time would make that very difficult.”
How many BLS students have paid, after-school jobs? Vince, of course, should be going to school a bit later (8:30AM would be nice) and the “early” elementary schedule of beginning school at 8:30AM was fine for Connie.
In any case, while wading through this 3.5 hour “off to school” period on Thursday, the PI got into a “what I’ll do when I grow up” conversation with Connie. She has been quite obsessed with this theme lately. After all, she’s 10 now.
“I don’t think I need to decide what I’m going to be when I grow up right now.”
“Tienes razón, niña, pero ¿por qué piensas así?”
“Because…well, you probably wanted to be a professional baseball player or a writer and you’ve ended up being a consultant. I don’t want to set my sights too high.”
For the umpteenth time, she had left the PI with slack jaw…speechless.
Hearing no response to what was, for her, a perfectly obvious statement, she continued. “If I become an actress, I’ll be so busy that I won’t have time to do some of the other things I want to do, like piano and gymnastics, or hang out with friends. Maybe I should have a smaller job…like being a doctor.”
Laughing out loud is a great way to recover from a metaphorical kick to the stomach. There ensued a less emotional conversation about the importance of setting one’s sights wherever one wants to set them, and then it was time to head to the Hennigan.