Yesterday was the first day of school for my children. We moved over the summer so they had to go in blindly to a brand new school with no friends and no sense of knowing where the bathrooms are.
My Fifth grader had the most awesome day of ther life... at least that's what she tells me. She came home with a braid in her hair that she didn't have when I dropped her off in the morning. She told me how a girl braided it for her at recess. Oh how I remember the days when a girlfriend would ask "can I play with your hair?". Who doesn't remember listening to a story on the carpet while your best friend braided and stroked your hair putting you in an elementary comotose state of mind.
She then told me all about her day and how all the kids in her class lined up one by one to go by her desk and introduce themselves to her. The smile on her face was as wide as the equator when she told me how some kids were fighting over her at recess. She realized that being the "new girl" isn't entirely a bad thing. In fact, it's down right sorta neat. Her older sister told her perhaps she should watch MEAN GIRLS with Lindsay Lohan, just because she was gloating a little too much and her head was growing by the second. Leave it to older sisters to put you in your place!
My fourth grader on the other hand had quite a different experience. I think it started out much like her sister's, with greetings and handshakes and being the poplular "new girl" that everyone wanted to be a part of. She even managed to kick a homerun kickball in gym class resulting in everyone around high fiving her. She was definitely on a roll. But then, things took a sour turn. I recieved a call 3 hours after the start of the school day informing me that my youngest was in the nurses office and I needed to go get her. I arrived only to see tears coming down her face... and wait.. what's that smell? Oh no. Her new striped skirt from the Disney Collection at Target had some yellow stain on it. Yes, it was barf.
It seems the heat and the nerves got the best of her. She threw up. In class. ON HERSELF and her newly found friend's book! Oh the horror. She was crying and calling herself a loser. I knew she was traumatized. On the ride home I told her nobody would remember this tomorrow. Okay.. I knew I was lying. Afterall we still referred Bobby W. as the boy who shit himself in Kindergarden. And that was 40 years ago!
I tried to instill in her that she was so smart and nice and pretty that nobody would remember that. I reminded her that everyone gets sick. It wasn't as if she picked her boogers and ate them. That made her laugh. As the night went on she started laughing at herself. Her sisters were telling her it wasn't a big deal. Even though they knew that it was. It was fourth grade afterall. And everyone was judging everything you did. Compassion for other kids hasn't really set in yet. Not when it comes to throwing up on yourself.
I hope this incident makes my girls better people. I hope it teaches them to feel for their fellow classmates and to have sympathy when something out of the ordinary happens to someone. Like peeing their pants or farting during an oral book report.
My girl didn't want to go back to school today.. She said she never wanted to go back again. But of course she had to. She kept saying how everyone was going to refer to her as the throw up girl. I assured her this wouldn't be the case, but deep down I know it very well could be. I am hoping that my 4th grader isn't sitting in class having the worst time of her life while my 5th grader is on cloud nine. I would like them to actually meet somewhere in the middle because I think that's probably the best place to be at a young age. Average. In the mix. Okay of course I want them to be on top of everything they do and to be the best of the best, but I don't think doing this will teach them anything about real life. Little do they know that my daughter who threw up on herself and came home half a day early learned probably one of the most valuable lessons she will encounter this year. How to become a survivor and learn to laugh at yourself.
She went to school today. With some tears. I told her to pretend today was the real first day of school and if anybody says anything about it, just tell them she couldn't help it.. school makes her sick!
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