8.15.2011

First Day of School? Not so much...

Well, today was to be the first day of kindergarten for my daughter, but due to a recent storm and major power outages, school was delayed here in Louisville. Not that I mind so much as it doesn't really impact my, or our, regular routine (as I am a SAHM).

On the theme of checklists, my daughter and I were talking before her bedtime. Our nightly ritual is that we read a story or two, turn out the light and "snuggle." I know that we have prepared her for school today (if there had been school)

  • backpack
  • uniform
  • lunchbox
  • paperwork
  • school routine
However, even knowing that she is "prepared" with her checklist, we left one item off

  • friends
She was speaking to me about her classroom, a pretend kitchen and how she will be learning finger knitting and where her room is in connection to her older brother's...and then she asked

  • Will I make FRIENDS?
And you know, here is the truth, I honestly don't know. She is an amazing kid, outgoing, engaging, charismatic, and tends to make friends very easily (and charms all the adults that I interact with) especially when she shows up with a lunchbox filled with littlest pet shop toys. But isn't this a question that concerns us all? I travel quite a bit for PTA and other activities and I also ask this question

  • Will I make FRIENDS?
Because while school is about academics-it is also about social connectivity to one's classmates and the world at large.

So here is what I told her:

  • Yes. You will make friends. It may not happen all at once
  • You need to be friendly to everyone
  • and yes, you will make friends
Because this is the truth, after my three children (which I indicated need to be at the top of my checklist) the second item is always

  • do I make a difference to others?
  • does my friendship matter?
  • have I shown those people who are my friends that they make a difference and that they matter
Part of something I learned a long time ago as a volunteer coordinator is that acknowledging those that make a difference encourages them to continue making a difference and will encourage others to make a difference based on their experiences with you.

So when my daughter starts school, I know she will be a friend and that at the end of the day when she gets in the car, she will tell me how many new friends she has and that will mean to her she had a successful first day and set the tone for the rest of her year. Because for her it's not about spelling tests or math quizzes, it's all about the friendships.

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