Thursday, August 30, 2007

New Experience

Chloe starts kindergarten next week.

"Hey, Oma, you could come for my first day!"

"No, I can't. But maybe you could send me some pictures. What are you wearing for your first day?"

"Hmmm. Well, I guess you'll just have to wait for the pictures."

First days of school, (kindergarten, 3rd Grade, or college), moms sending their little ones off (no matter how old they are): these have been topics of discussion the past few weeks. The world can seem so big and scary and mean.

I think about little kids getting their feelings hurt, or their self esteem stomped on, and it makes me sad. It's so poignant because I know what it feels like. I'm acquainted with the sting of being left out (my dress was babyish because it had puffy sleeves) and being told I was ugly (I wore red and white checked glasses.) I knew the popular kids, and they walked home without me the first day of kindergarten. When my teacher found me crying on the school steps, she scolded me, and said I needed to "grow up." I was five. She told my mom I wasn't mature enough for school. I don't remember life getting easier when I turned six.

Judy had a story published today on Time Goes By. She told about observing a girl's heart being broken. She finished with these profound words:
"At some future point you'll realize that this experience is part of who you have become, and without it, part of you would be missing."

I want to anticipate new experiences with the excitement of Chloe, and I want to reflect on past experiences with the wisdom of Judy.


mama jo said...

that's sad that there were popular girls in kindergarten...were they the same ones in high school? i'm sure you were darling in your dress and glasses...

MissKris said...

Hard to believe the 'social ranks' are established as early as Kindergarten, but they are. There were a handful of popular girls who terrorized my daughter at that tender age, even barricading her in the play house and not letting her out while the teacher stood by and permitted it. As for me, going to 6 different schools in my last 6 years of public education, I got picked on a lot. I'm a fighter, a survivor, from way back when, tho...t'wasn't NOTHING gonna hold ME back, even if it bruised my ego and shattered a lot of my self confidence back then. Oh Judy said, without these experiences I - and my daughter - wouldn't be who we are today. And I kinda like who I am now! Makes me wonder how the ones who terrorized us are doing now, hmmmmmmmm?

MissKris said...

PS...Have you ever read "What Really Happened to the Class of '65" by David Wallechinsky? Now, there's a book that gives us a little 'retrospective' insight!