Day four of Kindergarten and I could immediately tell something was wrong.
“Did you have a good day?”
He launched into the reasons before I could respond. Talking fast, he was obviously fueled by hours of pent up frustration. I tried to keep up. But all I got was the main theme. Apparently he didn’t get a goodie bag and somewhere between the hand out and my entrance a highly prized glow stick ended up in the garbage.
“You didn’t get a goodie bag?
Was it someone’s birthday?”
“Yes, I got a red cupcake and it was good but there wasn’t enough goodie bags. ROSTIN got one and it had a glow stick in it and then he had to throw his GLOW STICK in the GARBAGE!”
Uh oh. Not Rostin. A previous subject of many preschool adventures, there was great relief when it was discovered he already knew someone in his class. I had wondered how long it would be until new Rostin adventures were reported.
Apparently, four days.
I could see tears beginning to form in the corners of his huge brown eyes so I tried to distract and lighten the mood by appealing to his sweet tooth.
“At least you got a cupcake.”
Then I pointed out how cool it was to already be celebrating a birthday in school when it was only the very first week. Clearly, Kindergarten was amazing.
He wasn’t buying it. He walked arms crossed all the way to the car and was silent on the drive home. I was sure it would quickly blow over.
But hours later, I found him still upset, crying in my office.
Climbing into my lap he shared more details. Worse by far than not receiving his own goodie bag and glow stick was witnessing his friend lose his prized glow stick due to violating the “no playing with outside toys” rule during “A Plus.” Apparently it took every ounce of restraint to not run over to the garbage can and “save” it.
I saw this as a good opportunity to try and help him understand not bringing enough goodie bags was just a mistake and sometimes things like that happen–along with the many reasons why items shouldn’t be removed from dirty garbage cans.
But he wouldn’t let it go. If HE had received that glow stick instead of Rostin, HE certainly would NEVER have violated a rule that could risk LOSING it. HE would have kept it “forever” even AFTER the CHEMICALS stopped working and it didn’t glow anymore.
Then in his most adamant almost-six-year-old voice he proclaimed.
“I am just STILL SO mad!”
I knew I could fix the problem instantly by popping over to Party City and buying him a glow stick. But I thought about the reality of what had happened and why that would be the wrong thing to do.
I realized I was actually GRATEFUL to that goodie-bag mom.
Thanks to her innocent oversight, she had been the first to teach my child a valuable lesson. One I knew only too well.
One I was glad didn’t have to come from me.
LIFE ISN’T FAIR.
And sadly it wasn’t too soon for him to begin to understand sometimes you study hard and still fail or work hard but someone else gets the promotion.
He needed to know we don’t live in a perfect world where rain only falls on nasty people.
Because of that mom, my child was on his way to understanding it’s not at all about how the world SHOULD work but about the reality of how it DOES. He was learning the incredible value of being able to realize how to change the things he can and accept the things he can’t.
And when the next day was clearly better, when he took my hand to walk to the car while excitedly sharing his own clearly thought out plans for giving out goodie bags when it was HIS birthday, with glow sticks in them–of course. He let me know he got it.
Really got it.
Because HE was planning to make EXTRA bags.
JUST IN CASE!
Lover of reading, writing, sparkly things and whatever purrs, barks or flies. Former helicopter mom, co-dependent and enabler, I am addicted to walking, my family and my iWatch. Teacher by day and writer by night, I am clearly the one learning the most. Keeping it up until I get it right. Choosing joy one day at a time and sharing my journey so others can see why it might not be found if we don’t look for it. Thanks for stopping by!
You were sitting right in front of me and I get that you probably wanted…