Thursday, September 25

Life Lessons from Kindergarten

Well, it happened today. I pulled up at Clinton Park, Caleb got into his seat and before I could ask about the day, he says, "I have a yellow light, for real." I looked at him to see if he was pulling another prank; and, clearly, he was not. His eyes were already filling with tears.

I guess I should back up. If you are not familiar with the happenings of a kindergarten classroom, you would not know that everyone starts on a green light each morning. The light can change as warnings are given for misbehavior. Before dismissal, the teacher places a colored dot on a calendar in each folder informing parents of how the day went. Up until today, Caleb's dot has been green. Not only that, he has been really proud of his green dot and eager to tell me of those whose lights have not been green -- those less fortunate children whose lights have been yellow, orange or even RED! which means they got 15 minutes of time out during playground time. If you've seen the playground at Clinton Park, you know this is surely major punishment.

But, today, Caleb's dot was yellow. He immediately began his story about how he and a friend were kicking under the table and the teacher saw them. They both had to change their light. I believe the word "mean" was used. And, he also said, "That's why I don't want to go to school anymore."

I assured him that we were going back to Kindergarten. But, as I asked more questions, Caleb says, "Well, Mom, I didn't think she could see me."

O.K. now we're getting somewhere. I wanted to pull off to the side of the road for this lesson. But, I adjusted the rear view mirror so he could see me and I could see him, and we had a little lesson on doing right even when no one is looking. (I hear you laughing at me, Alyson.) However, I secretly loved his answer. The honesty of a five year old is precious. Certainly if no one sees me doing wrong I'm not actually doing anything wrong.

We had a quick recovery, because today was also report card day. Our first report card; and, sadly, this former teacher was anxious all day to see it. He is just as brilliant as I suspected. And, his teacher had a few comments about how wonderful he is. I guess the comment section was completed prior to the kicking incident. So, I had my proud moment and we celebrated with ice cream.

Then, we came home to write an apology letter to Caleb's teacher. (Would any of you have expected anything less.) And, tomorrow, he will go back to his classroom where his light will miraculously be on green again, because every day holds the hope of doing things a little bit better than the day before. Another great lesson learned in Kindergarten.


Aly said...

I did not laugh...How sweet!
You are a GREAT Mama!!
I miss you 5 so much!
The blog on Collin is GREAT!!
The picture of him picking the too small shorts out of his butt...priceless!
I wish I could see his silly little self. :)
Tell my 3 C's I love them thiiiiiiis much,

Jill said...

Cute!! I love the honesty of a child. Congrats on having such a stellar student!!! And I'm right there with you on the apology note...mine would have had to do the same thing.