Reading, writing, arithmetic AND a reality check - it's all part of starting school. Big "B" got that lesson on the first day of Kindergarten (sort of). She looked ADORABLE in her little, navy plaid uniform, Mary Janes and of course, a big, matching, monogrammed bow. I told her as we were walking out the door, "You are THE cutest Kindergartener I have ever seen in my entire life!" I was proud, she was happy and off we went to meet her new classmates.
We have two rules that we remind our children of daily. #1 Have fun!! #2 Be sweet to everyone. (We have other rules, too like don't spit on your sister, don't write on the walls and whatever you do...never, ever, ever, ever leave the house without a bow! But, have fun and be sweet are the two we preach the most.) On the ride to school, I repeated those rules. I told her she was going to make lots of new friends. I also told her there might be some kids there that would be a little nervous about starting Kindergarten and that she should try to be a friend to them. When we arrived we snapped more pictures, she got to walk in with a precious, little boy whom she already knew and who was in her class, I shot video of her, we gave her a hug and a kiss and told her just how pretty she looked one more time.
All day long I was thinking about how much fun she was probably having. Her teachers are amazing and she already knew several of the kids in her class. I couldn't wait to hear her version of how wonderful it was.
After sitting in the carpool line with the other 900 SUV's for 45 minutes, I pulled up and spotted my precious, little, curly, blond-headed baby girl walking down the stairs. There was no huge smile like I had expected. She got in the car and I squealed, "So, tell me ALL about your first day of Kindergarten!!! Did you make lots of new friends???" Big "B" responded, "No. Nobody wanted to be my friend." I said what about "L"? (the sweet boy she'd walked in with that she already knew) Frustrated, she said he found a new friend and it was a boy and he likes being friends with boys better than girls. I promised that would change one day. Then she says, "AND one girl in my class sat next to me and told me she was prettier than me!" I gasped, flung my head around the seat to look at her face to face instead of through the rear view mirror and said, "Well....was she?" A shocked Big "B" was speechless. She looked at me as if I was crazy. I was, in fact, the person who just a few hours earlier had told her multiple times SHE was the cutest Kindergartener ever! I forgot to tell her every other mother of every other Kindergarten girl in the world had told their daughters the exact same thing.
It was a teachable moment. I decided the first day of Kindergarten is as good a day as any to give it to her straight..."Baby, there will ALWAYS be somebody prettier than you, smarter than you, funnier than you, somebody who can dance better, sing better and play sports better in school. You just have to show them that you have the prettiest heart. A pretty heart will get you much further than any of that other stuff, anyway.
She thought about it for awhile. I hoped it was sinking in and would be a lesson that would last. Then she said, "I will show them my pretty heart, but Mommy, do you still think I'm the cutest Kindergartner in the world?" "Of course, I do!" She said, "Me, too!"
I laughed and thought this is precisely why I am not a teacher!