Saturday, September 4, 2010

A Lesson Learned

It's Saturday and here I am at work.  So, not a three day weekend, but at least I still get to have a two day weekend with Monday off!  Yay Labor Day!

Anyway, I thought I'd check the Eclectic Calendar and it turns out that today is Blog About a School Memory Day.  I have lots of those...years and years of them :-)  But here is the one that is stuck in my mind as I begin to write.  And it is a school memory involving my youngest son, but also me.
Handsome Lad always enjoyed being fancy :-) 
Up until about third grade he often wore a suit or at least a shirt and tie to school.
When each of my four older children began preschool, two days a week, through the Parks & Rec Dept, at age 3 or 4, they seemed to accept it quite well.  Off they went...timidly with the first two boys, more eagerly with Social Animal and Girlie Girl when their turns came.  In each case though, there was always that one kid in the class who would carry on as those being killed as his mother (it was almost always the mother, as far as I could tell) tried to leave him there.  And I am going to be honest...I kind of judged those moms and those kids.  I mean, I understood how difficult seperation was for some children, but I also sort of wondered, why should it be sooo difficult?  Was it some special issue?  How did the parents let it get to that point, where their kid was so anxious?  Well, as you may have guessed, when I took my fifth and final child, Handsome Lad, to preschool for the first time, WE were the freakish ones.  He sobbed and clung to me.  I tried staying for a while, then tried leaving, more tears.  This actually went on for the first couple of weeks of his preschool career.  I felt helpless and frankly, rather foolish, but also full of empathy for what was so difficult for my little boy.  Still, he did adjust and his teachers were quite kind and patient, having dealt with the situation many, many times. 

The whole thing was yet another parenting lesson for me.  Not so much, one of those - oh, I should have done that, not this....more of a - don't judge other parents, you uppity beeyotch - sort of thing.  It turned out, like so many other things I've observed with kids, to just be one of those things.  For some kids, seperation is hard.  Or maybe it is for a lot of kids...but some kids want you to be very aware of how hard it is for them. 

With five kids, you get a bit cocky by the time you get to firsts with that last one.  You think you know what to expect.  Now THAT is foolish.  As a parent, one lesson that I learned over and over is - Never imagine you know what is going to happen next.  Those kids, they will surprise you.

Whether you are a parent or not, children have probably taught you something.  What is a valuable or useful lesson you've learned from a kid?


Mrs. Hairy Woman said...

My son has taught me to be more accepting of others and not to be so critical of other parents/kids.
It is hard at times casue you do wonder what the heck they were thinking?? But Graeme is so innocent and accepting of anyone.. He makes a mother proud!

laura b. said...

Mrs: What you say is so true! We have our preconceived notions, but small kids are pretty baggage free. They don't assign roles to people, they just accept them. Very cool.

Churlita said...

That youngest kid will get you every time. Mine made me have to be a better parent. She was such a boundary pusher and she also used to cry when I took her to preschool. I had to be so careful what I said and what rules I made, because she would question it over and over again.

laura b. said...

Churlita: Just when you think you have parenthood under control...along comes that renegade. And, wow, yes, I certainly have learned to choose my battles with my kids...and to be sure I had reasoned out things I felt strongly about.

BrightenedBoy said...

Knowing that you know very little is one of the surest signs of wisdom.

laura b. said...

BrightenedBoy: Or, at the very least, it shows a good connection to reality. Thank you.