My son asked if I would be attending the Fiesta next Monday.  On the last day of the Spanish after school program, the teacher would usually throw a Fiesta.  I told him that I was unable to because I had already taken too many days off for the spring vacation and too many flexible days working from home after the vacation.  He was extremely sad and burst into tears.  He complained that I had never attended his Fiesta since he was a kindergartener. 

 

What can I say?  We tried to attend as many school activities as we can between my husband and me.  It is tough to be working parents in the US.  You are penalized by the governments for getting married and to have a family.  Just look at the tax treatment and you will understand what I mean.  In addition, you are expected to attend several school events during work hours.  It is extremely challenging for the working parents to get away from work to attend so many school social activities.  It is not that we do not want to participate in our kids’ school activities, but that the time commitment of those activities is too overwhelming.  I know that it is priceless watching our kids growing up and to be there in their lives.  We have tried our best but we do have to work too.  The US school systems seem to promote one income family.  You will be surprised to see how many families have only one bread earner.  This situation exists way before the economic tsunami started.  When I look around my neighborhood, about 75% of the families have a stay-home mom or dad  

 

Talking about the number of school activities, for my son alone, there are the Fall Celebration, Halloween Parade, Winter Celebration, Valentine’s Day Celebration, 1st grade breakfast, Spring Celebration as well as Parents, Poetry and Punch.  Some are held from 10am to 11am and some are held from 2pm to 3pm.  If I don’t work from home during these days, I would have to take my days off since it is pretty impractical to try to get back to work, adding the lost time in the commute.

 

We don’t have that much vacation time to spare either to attend all these activities.  In addition to attending the school activities, there are all sorts of volunteering activities solicited by the school.  They are asking for mystery readers three times a month.  They are asking volunteers for the above school activities as well as activities held after school such as the winter carnivals, the book fair, the world culture event, the pizza night fundraising events, the Bravo program to cover art or music pieces, and etc.  There are fewer events from the daycare my daughter attended.  There are only two programs, the spring and the fall programs.  They do ask volunteers for mystery readers and field trips.

 

I just wish that the school could be more considerate of the working parents’ time. 

 

Anyway, I told my son that his dad will attend the Fiesta.  We will see how his dad responds.  My husband just learned about this assignment. 

 

 

** Fiesta - a festive celebration of a religious holiday in Latin America.

** 版權所有 – Elisa English

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