I have always thought it was a little silly when parents cry when they drop of their brand new kindergartners. It is only a few hours, why all the tears? Last week, as I was getting her backpack, clothes and after school snacks ready for school to start, the realization that my little girl was going to kindergarten hit me full force. I stood in the doorway of her room, watching her sleep while I sobbed. Times seem so different now then they were when I was a kindergartner. What if I things are so different I don’t know how to help her?
That night I went looking for the picture of me on my first day of kindergarten and I laughed at what I saw. We are both wearing shirts from the latest Disney movie in our pictures, mine is just Beauty and the Beast instead of Frozen. I may not have grown up with smart phones, tablets and movies on the go, but I did grow up going to school. In realizing that things are more similar than I thought they were, I started a list of things I want her to know before she starts kindergarten.
- There will always be mean kids. They were there when I was in school and I am sure you will figure out who they are soon enough. Don’t let them make you feel bad about yourself and never, ever let them tell you who you are.
- Don’t be a mean kid. Sometimes moments will come when you might be tempted to say something mean to get a laugh from other kids. Don’t do it. It hurts whoever you are mean to and 25 years later you will still wish you hadn’t done it. I speak from experience.
- Your teacher can’t pick you every single time you raise your hand. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep raising your hand. Don’t ever lose your enthusiasm for learning.
- Be friends with everyone. At the raspberry patch last week, it brought tears to my eyes when the other moms told me how wonderful and inclusive you are. They praised your ability to be friends with all of the kids, no matter their age or gender. Being able to befriend everyone is a great gift. Also look for people who need a friend.
- Being kind will always be more important than being cool.
- Dream big. That person who tells you that it isn’t realistic to want to be a professional artist? Don’t listen. You know never know what you can do until you try.
- The only time you fail is when you don’t try. You don’t have to be the best at anything. You don’t need to be picked first for kickball. Just try everything.
- Have fun. Some of my favorite memories come from when I was in school, just like you are now. Enjoy it. Don’t wish school away because then you have to be a grown-up and I promise recess is much more fun.
Another thing that hasn’t changed since I was a Kindergartner? After school snacks. There is something about a few hours of learning away from home that makes you ravenous for something delicious to eat. One of our favorite after school snacks is Bagel Bites. Every time we pass them in Walmart she begs to buy “Baby Pizzas.”
My daughter’s favorite part about them? She can make them almost completely by herself. I usually stand in the kitchen for support and let her make her own snack. She loves being a big kid. Just like I did.
- 3 tomatoes, seeded and diced. (This means you remove the gooey stuff in the middle)
- 1/4 an onion, diced small
- small handful of cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 a jalapeño seeded and chopped, seeding a jalapeño takes out most of the heat while leaving the flavor
- a squirt of lime juice
Right now you can find coupons for both Bagel Bites and Delimex on Walmart’s site, so you are ready for all of those #afterschoolsnacks, because if one thing hasn’t changed it is that kids are starving after school!