My Kid’s the One in the Harvard Tee


Oops, sorry if that hit your foot. My little one—she’s the one in the Harvard tee—is going through that phase where she explores the nature of gravity via the repetitive tossing of her bottle from her stroller.

Ah, but where are my manners? I’m a dad who went to Harvard, and over there’s my wife, who also went to Harvard—or, as we prefer to say, “school in Boston.”

Judging by your child’s tee, he’s pinning his future less on a top-tier education and more on dinosaurs riding surfboards, which is, um, fun. But you might want to get out ahead of that now if you, like us, hope to enroll your progeny in the Harvard of nursery schools—or, as we prefer to say, “school next to the Boston Market.”

Surely you know that the élite path to running a private-equity firm while also running half-marathons while also running into similarly positioned friends in Sag Harbor begins at this particular early-childhood program. Their homemade Play-Doh? Made with organic flour from the fields of Kyoto. Their classroom guinea pigs? All assigned a pet hamster at birth. But, to be admitted, you’ve got to start tutoring, like, yesterday.

Our Rose prefers to begin her mornings with Tolstoy Tummy Time, since nothing gets her blood pumping in the A.M. hours quite like “Anna Karenina.” We then move on to either Lesser-Known Delicacies of Ethiopia or Better-Known Delicacies of New Zealand, depending on the lunar phase. We typically save Oppression in Nursery Rhymes for the late afternoon so that we can ruminate on Humpty Dumpty’s forced outdoor seating while sitting at our own alfresco corner table at Pastis. Then, before bed, we squeeze in the three “R”s: Reading in Spanish, Writing in Latin, and Redemption Arcs in Seventeenth-Century Commedia dell’Arte.

Though she’d surely love to stare at a screen print of an M. C. Escher or play a round of Simon Says Famous Congressional Speeches, Rose really doesn’t mind being academically focussed. She’s so unfazed that I sometimes wonder if she’s even paying attention. That is, until she reaches for a small object and attempts to put it in her mouth, at which point I know—even as I’m removing the lit tea candle from her teeny hand before it burns her tiny face—that all this hard work is creating an inquisitive young person with boundless curiosity. Be it Imperialist Russian Literature or her own exposed toes, she just finds things interesting.

Like Harvard tees. We give her options—OshKosh, Disney, Princeton. But she always goes for tees from Harvard. Er, shirts from Boston.

Not that we’d love her any less if she went to Yale or Brown or even Cornell. Wherever she wants to go in life is fine. As long as she keeps it private. And publicizes it often. ♦


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