When I grow up


Today Lovely #1 had her K4 Completion Ceremony.  I am beaming with pride…

When do these little people have time to grow up?  It’s so cliché to say, but they really do grow up quickly.  These tender moments are passing us by.  Sure, we are there, present at the moment, but preoccupied in our brains.  Where do I have to go after this, what do I have to finish, what’s on my list, sitters for the summer, meeting at 11, gotta get out of here and get to work, what to make for dinner, packing toys for the move…Why can we not simply enjoy the moment?

They sang the cutest (and most materialistic) song called ‘I Like Money.’  Really?  Why must they teach my child about money?  And further, why must they teach her to like money?  It makes it really hard for me to manage her requests for toys and a Hannah Montana room when one of the lines of the song says ‘I always want more.’  Hopefully she’ll be too preoccupied this summer running around to worry about money and Hannah Montana and all the things that she is caught up in.  Hopefully I can teach her that these moments are far more important than the things, the stuff, the toys that clutter our home and brains.

They also were instructed to dress up like the person that they want to be when they grow up.  Now, when Lovely #1 told me about this, I assumed that the clothes should be big, like an adult’s…so that they have room to ‘grow’ into that career.  So I did, what I thought was, the cool thing and packed her some of my clothes thinking that it would be *so* cute to have everything hanging off her.  She chose to dress up like a teacher.  She tells me that she wants to be a teacher to help kids learn how to read.  Isn’t that the sweetest thing you ever heard?  Since I am also a teacher of sorts, I packed her clothes of mine…and she was all pumped up about it when she left the house.  I sent her with a nice, teachery, gray shirt, a black sparkly beaded necklace, and some killer black pumps.

We dropped her off to get ready with her class, grabbed a cup of coffee from the cute little shop on the corner by her school, and then headed back for the ceremony.  Daddy had the video camera, and I had the regular camera, Lovely #2 was strapped into her stroller to ensure she didn’t run away and down the stairs, and we walked past Lovely #1’s classroom.  There I saw her getting dressed and bawling uncontrollably.

The kids that were at the door said she was upset because her clothes were too big…and everyone else’s weren’t.  Shit!  Already knowing that she is more sensitive than a third degree sunburn, I tried to run to her rescue.  Her teacher tells me that she cries about something small almost everyday.  She says they try not to make a big deal out of it, but she bawls anyway.  Personally, I think her teacher is tired of consoling her…because she’s got 20 other crazy screaming kids to wrangle.  Lovely was all sweaty from the long sleeve shirt and from crying.  We ditched the shirt…and necklace…and didn’t even pull the shoes out of the bag.  Instead she wore the tie dyed dress that she went to school in (I’m proud of her hippie-ness too), and held onto her teacher pointer.  I mean, I thought I was doing the right thing!  I thought the kids were all going to choose the profession of their parents and that they would all be in their parents clothes…which would be too big for them, and they would all look so sweet dressed like tiny little adults.  Oh, no…all the other parents had perfectly fitting Halloween costume-like outfits for their children.  What a bummer.  Come on, people!!  Let the little girls wear some high heels, Mom…and let them borrow your blazer and tie, Dad!  So now I feel like I failed her.

After the ceremony she seemed to be in good spirits.  I think it’s because the rest of her school day entails cookies and juice and playing at the park and all the fun ‘last day of school’ stuff.  We left her…all the while I wanted to take her.  I just want to protect her.  I want to hug her and snuggle with her and make her feel like she can do anything she wants to.  She obviously does not feel that way in her current situation.  It angers me.  It frightens me.  It worries me.  As a mother, how can I make sure that she is always ok?  How can I make sure that people don’t take advantage of her sensitivities?  Is it because of me that she is so sensitive and emotional?  Then I get defensive about it….like, What’s so bad about being sensitive?  She’s a little girl!  I would much rather have her be sensitive than be a beastly jerk of a kid, or a selfish brat, or feeling entitled to everything.  She is well-behaved.  She observes people.  She is probably way too smart to be in that class anyway.  She is trying to connect these things she’s learning in school to real life scenarios.  Who wouldn’t become emotional about that?  The real world is hard.  She is still soft!!  Maybe I don’t want her to learn how difficult and mean and dishonest people in the real world can be.  That’s not fair either.  It is really hard to learn that…especially when you’re only 5 years into it.  Her teacher preaches about the students making ‘good choices.’  I agree with that.  Who teaches them the good from bad?

When do you really know what is a good choice and what is a bad choice?  I feel like I don’t even know, and I’ve got some years on my little Lovely.  I know that stealing is a bad choice, and lying is a bad choice, and yadda yadda yadda.  I know that being nice is a good choice.  Who decides if my choices are good or bad?  Isn’t it me?  Don’t I decide?  Or is it society?  What if it’s a choice that no one will ever know except me?  Maybe I am analyzing this too much.  Maybe my brain can’t quite connect the left and right today.  Maybe I am just a worried mother.  Maybe the school system is all wrong (that may be a whole ‘nother post).  Maybe…maybe I just need to buy her an ice cream cone and get over it and congratulate her on a job well done….forget about the sensitivity and lure her back to health with sugar?  I think that may be the ticket.

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