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Back to School: Lessons from My First Grader

pencilsIt is hard to believe my 'baby' is going to be a first grader this week. I tried to be diligent this summer with reading, writing and arithmetic so she did not lose all the things she learned in Kindergarten since Robert Fulgram wrote that is all he really needed to know. 

As an entrepreneur-working woman, I found that I was a bit stressed trying to make sure she was writing in her journal, reading, practicing letters, while keeping focused on my work. I have tremendous admiration for stay-at-home mom's and dad's that integrate just about every profession into the course of their day. And the teachers! Wow, I cannot say enough for the care, concern, patience and resilience they project each day. I personally think they deserve the summer off after recently taking a sabbatical from my Sunday School work only one Sunday a month. It was exhausting! 

The first-grader is so good about taking one day at a time. When I ask her if she is excited to go to school, she says yes, but not like it is going to be Christmas or anything. In the last few days before the first day of school, the neighborhood has come alive with every kid congregating in one of our yards. Ripsticks, bicycles, scooters, playhouses, coloring, Legos, board games, dancing, singing, gymnastics, yard tennis, flashlight tag – and that was just today! The energy is astounding. Enjoying each moment for what it brings. Learning coping skills about conflict, disappointment and rejection along the way. And be an observer so you can learn more.

backtoschoolpicSummer winds down, and parents are counting down the seconds to freedom and creating new routines and structure.

I want to take some of these observations and apply them to my life. Take each moment and make the very best of it. Be grateful for the amount of variety I have in my day having my own business, and celebrating the instants of victory with my coaching clients.

If you haven't seen Robert's sage advice, here is a reminder.

fulghumbook"These are the things I learned (in Kindergarten):

  1. Share everything.
  2. Play fair.
  3. Don't hit people.
  4. Put things back where you found them.
  5. CLEAN UP YOUR OWN MESS.
  6. Don't take things that aren't yours.
  7. Say you're SORRY when you HURT somebody.
  8. Wash your hands before you eat.
  9. Flush.
  10. Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
  11. Live a balanced life - learn some and drink some and draw some and paint some and sing and dance and play and work everyday some.
  12. Take a nap every afternoon.
  13. When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.
  14. Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Stryrofoam cup: The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
  15. Goldfish and hamster and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup - they all die. So do we.
  16. And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned - the biggest word of all - LOOK."

― Robert Fulghum, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten

 

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Tribute to Kate

I wrote this while traveling late last year. I head out this week for several days, and the guilt of not being there made me want to share this with anyone that feels compelled to read it.

 

Oh sweet Kate how I love you so.

Daily proclamations of “it’s morning time!”

Unyielding contentment as I watch you grow.

The moments you call for me, a precious rhyme.

You love life and all it brings.

It is your excitement about all living things.

The perpetual grin on my face as I look into your Mapuche eyes.

My heart bursts with what you will eventually realize.

And God placed you in my over extended hands.

I regret when my patience fails.

I’d kiss you all day if life didn’t have other plans.

You are just my little skittle I want to gobble as a snack.

And there are moments I wish I could have back.

Infectious are your giggles.

Triggered by my tickles.

Treasures made of nickels.

Mimi flowers, singing for hours.

Scrub-a-dub-dub, three men in a tub.

A caring friend, a tender heart, inclusive and fair.

You expect it in return.

Your heart breaks when it’s burned.

What does God have in store?

What is He looking for?

Is being there enough?

Have we given you too much stuff?

Am I being too tough?

Do I laugh with you enough?

Parenting is the hardest job I’ve learned,

With so many discoveries discerned.

As far as I am concerned,

The best job in the land.

Will you ever understand?

What you have been in my life?

Just when I was the most lonely,

You showed up and stole my essence.

Made me a better human.

I melt in your presence.

It was no accident,

God had the right plan.

Stories like this cannot be made up.

And it will last for eternity.

Kate bobate with the update,

I know other mom’s can relate.

Each moment frozen would not be enough

To realize the purpose you have for me.



 

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