Important Life Lessons From Kindergarten

‘Tis the season for mixed emotions! The exhilaration of school ending … the fear of a non-scheduled summer vacation … and the bittersweetness of graduation.

The last emotion was what I felt yesterday as I helped C into a frilly and sparkly dress and tied the gold ribbon behind her back. It was with pride that I watched her enter the auditorium with a blue cap balanced on her head. And it was with a twinge of sadness that I hugged her after the ceremony and said, “Good job, baby!”, to which she promptly replied, “I’m not a baby!”

But she’ll always be my baby, even though she is now a kindergarten graduate. 🙂

I am so thankful for all the teachers out there who invest their time and hearts into making a difference in the world – one child at a time. I am especially thankful for C’s kindergarten teacher (who had been E’s, too) who helped me see a different side of my munchkin. During the graduation, Mrs. C handed out a certificate to each student with a character trait that she thought represented them the best. I had been looking forward to this part of the ceremony and hearing C’s personalized trait. Would it be helpfulness or kindness? Or maybe joyfulness?

Nope.

Mrs. C chose gentleness.

*Insert open-mouthed expression here.*

Haha. In all honesty, the trait of gentleness had never crossed my mind. The C I know and love is spunky with a capital S. She sets her mind to do something and doesn’t let anything stop her. She is expressive and loud like a firecracker. Mild and meek, she is not.

But Mrs. C mentioned that C treats the other kids in her class with gentleness. And that when it is her turn to be the “calendar person” and she pokes her in the arm with the stick that she is supposed to be using to point at the date on the wall, she does it gently. LOL. (And yes, she is the only kid who has ever dared to poke Mrs. C – I tell ya, she’s spunky!)

My gentle, spunky munchkin!

My gentle, spunky munchkin!

Mrs. C also shared the following poem with all the parents: “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten” by Robert Fulghum. It’s a sweet reminder of what’s important in life.

Most of what I really need
To know about how to live
And what to do and how to be
I learned in kindergarten.
Wisdom was not at the top
Of the graduate school mountain,
But there in the sandpile at Sunday school.

These are the things I learned:

Share everything.
Play fair.
Don’t hit people.
Put things back where you found them.
Clean up your own mess.
Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.
Wash your hands before you eat.
Flush.
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
Live a balanced life –
Learn some and think some
And draw and paint and sing and dance
And play and work everyday some.
Take a nap every afternoon.
When you go out into the world,
Watch out for traffic,
Hold hands and stick together.
Be aware of wonder.

May we all strive to live out these lessons from kindergarten. 🙂

Check out this new song by Jessie J., “Flashlight”, that has a graduation feel to it. Hope you have a wonderful time celebrating the graduates in your lives!

What life skill from the kindergarten poem do you want to incorporate into your life?