Monday, August 25, 2008

Expectations, great or otherwise

I've said it before and will surely say it again, probably before week's end. Clare and Danny are very, very different. Case in point: heading off to school. Whereas Clare counted down the days until school started, Danny has spent every morning proclaiming vociferously, "I'm not going to school!" Up until today, I was able to assure him that he was correct. This morning, however, it was time to go for our "Meet and Greet," where we met his teachers and fellow classmates, saw the classroom (above), etc. etc. Evidently Danny's experience with summer camp was just enough to not so much alleviate his anxiety about school but rather teach him to grow upset when the building comes into sight. So this was how he looked as we arrived, despite the reassuring presence of his good buddy Parker:

Fortunately, he soon found golf clubs, and all was right with the world:

Anecdotes aside, however, it's hard not to compare - unfavorably - Danny's reaction to school with Clare's. On the one hand I have Clare's teacher calling me just to tell me what a "wonderful child" she is and "a joy to have in class." And then there's Danny, who told me at least a dozen times this morning that he doesn't want to go to school. The rational part of me knows that Clare has three years of experience on Danny, and he's got plenty of time to catch up. But to what extent should I expect him to do so? I know I shouldn't expect telephone calls of praise out of the blue, but there's a part of me that probably will. So is this where it all begins, the comparisons between kids, the potential for Danny to feel like he's always living in his sister's academic shadow? Well, I guess most of that potential lies with Tim and I. In the meantime, maybe I'll just relax a bit and remember that my kids are five and two. Clare could still turn into a rebellious hellion, and Danny a Rhodes Scholar. It's just so hard not to look ahead!