August 28, 2013

A Letter to My Kindergartener. ~ Robin Nickell

My Dearest B,

Today is the day you begin your elementary school adventure. There will be many adventures to follow, but today we will slow down and honor this one: kindergarten.

Last Thursday, we conquered kindergarten orientation. I must confess this was a tough one for Mommy. As I walked the long corridors, lugging bags of your new school supplies to meet you and your daddy, my emotions were a crock-pot of
pride, excitement, fear and anxiety.

The school seemed so large, and you, you are still so small. I wondered how you must be feeling among all the chaos, and I yearned to be by your side. I quickened my pace. The parents and children I passed were a blur of turning heads, smiles and other mixed emotions.

When I finally entered your room, a woman was blocking my path to you. My first thought was, “Hey lady, outta my way!” But then I saw her little boy’s head peek around from behind her knee and remembered it was a special day for them as well. So I waited patiently. When I called your name and your face lit up like a Christmas tree, and you screamed out, “Mommy!” all was once again right in the world.

As we surveyed your new class together your enthusiasm was infectious. My anxiety began to fade, quickly replaced by a feeling of adventure.

So here we are on our way to kindergarten.

Please indulge me while I impart some wisdom prior to your travels.

Be kind. Remember your words have power, so use them to convey love. Not everyone is going to look, speak, act or learn the way you do. Honor people’s differences and celebrate them.

Never use your fists to communicate. Remember that anger is destructive when it is shared. If you find yourself angry, and you will, be brave and sit with it. If someone hurts you, find an adult and tell them immediately. If you engage in anger or cruelty, you feed it. Seek safety, shine a light on it with your words and move yourself toward kinder and gentler little people.

Do not sit by idly and allow others to be bullied or mistreated. Speak up when someone is being hurt.

It is our job to help others, always keep this in mind.

Speak your truth and ask questions. I will always encourage you to respect your teacher, but it is okay to disagree and question those in authority this includes Mommy and Daddy.) Your teacher’s job isn’t an easy one, it’s difficult
to keep so many children organized.

Please respect your teacher’s requests and follow her instructions. But remember that questions are powerful, so ask them (after raising your hand, of course).

When you disagree with someone, vocalize your difference with respect and kindness.

Dance, sing, draw, paint and write.  At some point, there will be time to dance and sing.

Please do so, enthusiastically. Moving your body is a wonderful release, and releases are good for your soul. And for heaven’s sake, please make that adorable face where you pucker your lips when you dance, its perfection!

Sing, my love, sing at the top of your lungs.

You have a great set of pipes, kiddo, use them! Singing is yet another great discharge, and I’ve noticed you smile a lot as you sing. So sing!

Drawing, painting and writing are all beautiful art forms. And you, my son are an artist,  as is everyone else. Art is a great way to express what is going on inside of us. So utilize those tools and know every time you do, it is beautiful and magical, because you are a beautiful and magical creature.

Have a purpose while at school. Just because you are 5 doesn’t mean you are without purpose. Allow your purpose while at school to be learning. Be voracious in your quest for knowledge. Even if a subject initially appears uninteresting to you, dive in head first and devour every morsel of data.

I’ll let you in on a little secret: we learn so we may become teachers in our own right. Your first student will, no doubt, be your little brother. You’ve been an excellent teacher to him since he was born, and he will be so excited to absorb all the new information you acquire each day. How exciting is that?!

Last but not least, come home and tell me everything! I’ll be waiting for the stories about your explorations. I will be excitedly anticipating every detail down to the math problem you solved, the new word you learned to read and what the cafeteria served for lunch. So please, my love, share your day with me.

I’ll be here waiting.


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Assistant Ed: Andie Britton-Foster/Ed: Bryonie Wise

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