Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Guiding Kids Through Life's Storms

I recently caught up with a grade school classmate that I hadn't seen in over a decade (ugh, I'm old).  It was a booze-filled gathering, as most reunions tend to be. We updated each other on our lives, reminisced about our Catholic School upbringing, and might have even made projections on the future. I suppose what I meant is that we got drunk, shared horror stories of our current predicaments, complained about our Catholic School upbringing, and made the accurate assumption that we will be stuck living the same monotonous lives for the foreseeable future. It was a great time.

While the encounter provided plenty of funny things to write about, I'd like to focus on the Catholic School complaints. I've only ever attended Catholic School - kindergarten through college. I'm not one for making excuses (yes, I am), but all issues apart from those of the daddy variety can and will be chalked up to parochial schooling. The most interesting part, however, is how both categories of issues crossed paths in my young, formidable years - a correlation that I had effectively forgotten until my blast-from-the-past friend made mention of it. Like a frenemy after a hangover reminding you of the actual attractiveness of your hook up the night before all the terrible decisions you made the night before, my former classmate asked if I remembered Rainbows.

Well, I do now - thanks.

Seemingly, I had repressed this period of my youth (wishing I might have repressed this part instead). Unfortunately, as soon as he mentioned the word Rainbows, the yellow workbook came racing back into the memory banks. Ah, the fond memories of having to participate in a program focused on "guiding kids through life's storms." Essentially, it was a class for kids with divorced parents - at least that's what they focused on at my school. Rainbows come after storms - oh, I see what they did there.

Their website explains that "children need guidance and compassion to prevent a loss event from literally defining their lives through later destructive choices. In fact, research proves that unresolved grief leaves kids vulnerable to major at-risk behaviors." Boy, did they fail with me.  If anything, I've perfected destructive choices. I've even found a way to capitalize on those choices, and you're reading it right now.

Cut a kid's recess time, and you're asking for future at-risk behaviors. But, apparently, Rainbows figured it was better that kids with divorced parents focus on their broken homes and how that makes them feel rather than focusing on kickball. I could've been an Olympian if I had been allowed to harbor all of that "loss" into athletics. Yes, I just blamed a youth organization for my failures in life. You know what helps kids through life's storms? Singling them out by putting them in a faux-support group so the whole school knows they come from broken homes. There was even a picture in the yearbook - right between Newspaper Club and Spelling Bee. The should have just captioned the photo "Children with Absentee Fathers."

Perhaps I didn't fully participate in the program; I didn't give it my all. I come to this assumption because if any class in recent memory can attest to my efforts - I definitely didn't do the required reading. If the reading would've gotten me my recess back, maybe I would have. They should have predicted a future riddled with technology and held the program during Handwriting class - cursive is so stupid. The only thing I need cursive for is my signature. Why not teach little Lily how to write three letters in cursive to sign her name and call it a day? But, no, I had to sit around and talk about my feelings while the other kids were outside growing boobs and self-esteem. Thanks, Rainbows.

When If I get divorced, I'll make sure my mistakes children steer clear of youth organizations void of competeition. I'm breeding athletes here, no time for pussy shit feelings.


"I'm pretty sure I drank that terrible program out of my memory." - my brother after I reminded him

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