Monday, August 27, 2012

Life Lessons

Last week The Girl started kindergarten. On her first day a classmate had an accident on the gym floor. My 'mom' heart immediately went into spasms. I felt heartbreak all at once for the poor child who peed in gym class and for the parents who knew that their baby's first day of kindergarten was not all it could have been. Then the guilt rolled in when I admitted to myself that I was secretly relieved that it wasn't my child.

I had a little talk with The Girl about how accidents happen sometimes and that it is okay. We talked about how it is important to treat people with love and kindness especially when something bad or embarrassing happens.

It got me to thinking. I can see her school career stretched out before her and it’s a virtual minefield of social and emotional traps and pitfalls. I know there’s no way for me to protect her from it. I know she can’t learn through my mistakes. I know she has to navigate this sometimes treacherous journey on her own. But if I could, I’d want her to know this:
  • Befriend the nerds, the geeks, the weirdos. When everyone grows up, these are the people great husbands, wives, and best friends are made of.
  • Don’t be scared of the bullies. Mean people are everywhere and they feed off fear. Be the kid who stands up. Be the kid who protects the little guy.
  • Don’t exchange what you know in your heart for what you think others will find cool.
  • Know who your real friends are.
  • Peer pressure is stupid, and anyone applying it to you is not worth your worry.
  • Whatever it is that is breaking your heart today, I promise that it’s not that important. Let it go and move on.
  • Your life is so long ahead of you, all of this daily drama is small in the big picture.
  • Don’t let yourself be labelled or pigeon-holed. People will try. You can be as many different things as you want to be, and you can always change.
  • It’s okay to be different.
  • It’s okay to be popular. It’s okay not to be.
  • It’s okay to be into sports or theater or music or math.
  • It’s okay to work hard and do well.
  • It’s okay to struggle.
  • It’s okay to be embarrassed once in a while.
  • It’s okay to have friends in different cliques.
  • It’s okay to have a lot of friends. It’s OK to have a few.
  • It’s okay to do and be whatever it is you want.
I can’t put all of this perspective into the head of a girl who has no perspective yet. I can’t wrap her up and shield her from all the stress, angst, and worry that she will need to suffer in order to gain this perspective for herself. All I can do is sit by and watch it happen, and be here to catch her when she falls.

No comments:

Post a Comment