…where a brave and beautiful bunch gather every week to find out what comes out when we all spend five minutes writing on the same topic and then sharing ‘em over here.
I take the teacher note out of the Quail’s backpack and read it to her four year old self: “The Quail was not kind to her friends today. She pulled her friend down and her friend did the same….” The Quail looks down at her shoes while bird-perching her bottom lip out at my words.
“Momma, that girl was mean to me again. She took my prize and hid it and wouldn’t tell me where it was.” Zuzu’s voice wobbles through her tears.
“Momma I got my sticker and stamp taken away today. But I was only talking quietly. Lucy was talking loud but Mrs. Campbell didn’t hear her. She didn’t get hers taken away. It’s not fair.” Her tears flow hot at the injustice of kindergarten rulings. Her embarrassment at having gotten in trouble worn as plain as the clean back of her hand where the daily stamp is missing.
“Back away from each other and Quail go to time-out. We do not hit or spit.” I raise my voice to be heard over the wild ruckus of the girl’s disagreement and then proceed to wipe the spit off my face that was sent there flying out of the Quail’s frustration. I feel myself pause- I need to be heard, but I need to not yell and frankly- that’s hard some days.
Each day we start again. Each day I promise myself I will not yell. I will listen. I will instruct calmly. I will model what I want to see in them. Each day I feel the frustration mount as we repeat the same lessons over and over. Including the new promise to not yell *this day*.
The basic lessons:
We do not hit, pull or spit.
We ask for help when we need it.
We listen to our teacher, parents and grown-ups in charge.
We do not yell.
The bare bones they are, these daily repeated lessons of ours. How to get along with others in this ole’ world. How to be kind.
These basic lessons- they bare repeating each and every day as we wake up and try again.