Friday, July 25, 2008

All I Really Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten

Or did I? Sometimes I think all I really need to know got ruined in Kindergarten.

A lot of my friends have first time kindergartners this year and a couple have written about it. You can read those posts below.


I've had thoughts about this new phase of life as well. Big Sister couldn't be more excited about going to school. If she were apprehensive it would be really tough but she can't wait. She's definitely ready. For her birthday, she received a computer game called Jump Start Kindergarten and she's all over it. She loves to learn and can't wait to really start reading. She can't wait to play on the playground, eat lunch in the cafeteria and make new friends. And there are things I look forward to as well. Big Sister got good one on one time with me on the front end. Now it's Little Sister's turn. I'm looking forward to some special times with just me and her. I'm looking forward to getting to know some other people in our neighborhood. I'm looking forward to getting involved in her class, school, and ultimately, our community. I love school. I was a teacher, I'm married to a teacher, I'm the daughter of former teachers. WE LOVE all things SCHOOL.

But I worry...a little. Is she really supposed to go in that big building ALL BY HERSELF every day? What will happen after she walks through those doors? How will I know she made it to her room? We live right near the school and will walk most days. What if she gets in there and I leave and then she thinks she left something at home and then she tries to walk home and you see where I'm going with this? I mean, the child still can't wipe her butt all that well. How's that going to work? Is she going to sit on the toilet yelling, "Teacher! TEACHER! CAN YOU COME WIPE MY BOTTOM?!?!"

But the thing that really gets me...the thing that makes me tear up when I look at her is this.

She's entering the real world.

Right now she believes that she's beautiful. She believes that she is smart. She believes that she is special. She likes what she likes and she has great enthusiasm about it. Right now she loves her little sister. Right now she wants to please her mom and dad more than anybody. But what will she learn in kindergarten? What will happen when another mean kid calls her ugly or stupid? What will happen when someone tells her Dora isn't cool anymore? And Little Sister is an annoying baby? And moms and dads don't know anything and are to be rebelled against? What if she's the mean kid and I just don't know it? Will I be one of those parents? Up until now I've been there to protect her. And I want to protect her from all that heartbreak and dysfunction that you learn in the real world. I want her to go on forever believing she is beautiful and smart and special. I want her to pave her own way and find her own passions and follow them despite what her peers think. I want her to want to be with her family more than anyone else in the world. But...

I keep thinking of something one of my mentors, Peggy, once told me. If I could be the perfect parent and if I could protect her from the troubles of this world, she would never know she needed Jesus. These things have to be faced. And I must point her to Jesus. She needs to know that, "Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Proverbs 31:30" She needs to know that smart is good but wisdom that comes from the Lord is what she really needs. She needs to know that Mom and Dad love her but we will fail her and no one can love her like Jesus. She needs to know that her life is not about her but about God and his glory. She needs to have her heart broken over sin. Lord, help me! I'm not ready for this! I know I'm being a bit melodramatic. Maybe she'll love her teacher. Maybe she'll make some great friends. Maybe she'll thrive. And maybe she'll learn to wipe her own butt in the next two weeks.

I don't know what the future holds but it reminds me of my own need for Jesus. It reminds me of all He's taught me and how he's brought me through difficult times. It reminds me how blessed I am in my life. It reminds me that He is in control. It reminds me that the difficult times have driven me to His Word and to my knees. It has been the difficult times that have taught me the most. I had difficult times in school and magical times in school. I'm sure there were times my mom thought we'd never survive it. But we did. And so will Big Sister by the grace of God. I guess it's best to just take it one day at a time, pray like crazy, and savor every moment. And God grant me grace if on the first day I stalk her on the playground.


Karen said...

I love hearing from you mommies that are sending your kids to school this year. I am reminded where we were last year at this time and where we are headed this year. Yikes!

The time you get to spend with Little Sister will be precious. I know my time with my Little Man has been this last year. He missed his big sister like crazy and loved it when we went and had lunch with her.

We did have the heartbreak of another girl saying "I'm not your friend anymore!" Munchkin had never dealt with that before. It was a wonderful teaching moment though. Because we were able to talk through who loves her most of all and who is with her always. Also, just letting her know if that little girl was being mean she didn't need to play with her. There were plenty of others to play with on the playground! They ended up being best buddies though, I think because Munchkin let it go and played with someone else.

It is going to be ok! :)

Anonymous said...

Great post. I think I may need to save this for next year so I can reread it a few times before Adeline goes to Kindergarten...whew!

Montee said...

I remember that Britnee was ready and excited to start kindergarten. She had a wonderful teacher and thrived. I spent some time helping in her classroom and Brett would go with me. The other children enjoyed him. Brett and I also had some of that one-on-one time that we had never had before. When he started kindergarten, I spent even more time at school in both Britnee's and Brett's classrooms. I will always cherish that time. It was fun and sometimes wore me out because it seemed I was at school as much as the teachers!

I will say that everything will be fine because you and Jeff have laid a foundation with God being first. Your girls are learning to depend on Him to lead them. They will both be fine and excellent students. You are looking at this new beginning with a great attitude. I can't wait to hear about her first day! Gosh, it just seems like yesterday that Britnee and I were spending the night at Baptist Hospital awaiting her arrival!