Baby girl completed Kindergarten last week. Her first year of school is done and over with and I now officially have a first-grader. Wow.
She was pretty sad about finishing up the school year, mostly because she was feeling like she’d miss her teacher and friends. She came home on her last day of school saying, “I want to stay in Kindergarten another year. I don’t want to move to first grade.” I told her that it would all be okay and that we definitely want to move forward in life, not backward. “Progress is good,” I told her. “Why?” she asked.
Her question stumped me for a second. How was I to explain such an abstract concept of progression to a six-year-old?
I decided to compare it to physical growth – hers and that of plants. She had recently learned of a plant’s life cycle, so I knew it would be an easy connection for her. “If a seed doesn’t progress, then it gets stuck as a seed and doesn’t grow into a plant, right? The same goes for you. You want to get bigger, don’t you?” She nodded and I continued to explain that our minds need to grow too. “If not, we’ll get stuck and we’ll never know anything new!”
She seemed to understand this, but still wished she could stay in Kindergarten and learn new things there. I realized no amount of words were going to help my baby girl in that moment, so I gave her what I knew she needed, a hug.
As a woman, I know that sometimes us girls just need a big hug, without words, to help us feel better. It makes little sense to many, except maybe other women. Sometimes we don’t want to make sense of things, or fix the situation. I know exactly what that feels like and yet there I was trying to “fix” my baby girl’s feelings on finishing Kindergarten. The hug I gave her did so much more to help her than any of my words.
With that hug, I immediately felt a release of the worry in her little body. Since that day, she still sometimes mentions she’s going to miss her teacher, but she hasn’t said anything about wanting to stay in Kindergarten. In fact, she’s made statements starting with, “When I’m in first grade…” I guess she’s showing progress after all.
Were your children sad when they finished their first year of school?