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November 21, 2011

Kindergarten is killing me

My memories of my own first year of school are pretty hazy at this point. I seem to recall some finger-painting, show-and-tell, a shoebox full of finger puppets. I don't recall it being an emotional minefield, which is what the past two months have been for poor Mads. Though I thought it was a crazy person's venture to this point, I'm almost starting to see the allure of homeschooling. Almost.

I understand that this is the real world and she's going to have to learn to live in it... but not yet. She's still too little to be outside of our happy bubble, my tiny girl with her big eyes and big heart. Her skin is just too paper-thin to withstand betrayals and bullies, no matter how small. And I know that she probably needs to toughen up, but not yet and not like this, a new wound and new callous every time she's cast aside.

But then sometimes I wonder: Is it just me? Is it just me trying to hold on to her too tightly, to keep her wrapped up in this little cocoon that she's already outgrown? I can't protect her from every bump and bruise along the way, even though there's part of me that feels compelled to die trying. Maybe all I can do is let her know that she has a soft, safe place to land when she needs it, until she's ready to get up and try again.

I can see the changes in her already, though: A little less carefree, a little more guarded, suddenly wondering if she's pretty enough or smart enough or fun enough. And at the end of every day I just try to pour it into her so there's no room left for hurt and doubt: You're enough, you're enough. You're so much more than enough.

November 21, 2011 | Permalink


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The world is a hard place and I feel like kindergarden should be a warm and fuzzy place. I have heard from so many friends lately that it is not- and that makes me sad.

The love you feel for your daughter, she will also feel. I just wish there was more of that out there in the world.

Posted by: Laurie | Nov 22, 2011 12:00:06 PM

I almost couldn't read your post! It had me nearly in tears (okay, I am also 4 months pregnant.. but still!). The thought of my daughter going to kindergarden and feeling this way is WAY too much for me to handle. Thanks for sharing, as I know I will be about as crushed as you are.... BUT, you did make me feel better about knowing she had a safe place to land. Maybe that's what being a parent is all about. Geez.......

Posted by: Katharine | Nov 30, 2011 12:49:06 PM

You may want to have a chat w the teacher. There shouldnt be that much nastiness going on. If they're targeting your own dear one, teachers can change that.
Also, you might consider asking opposite questions.
Mine own will report 'playing by myself all day', when she means 'I played by myself at recess and with 12 other kids at lunch'.

Posted by: mic | Jan 25, 2012 2:07:24 PM

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