There’ll be days like this
Tuesday night, right before Claire went to bed, she started erratically rubbing her eyes. I knew exactly then and there that she was trying not to let me see her cry.
I didn’t ask her what was wrong, I just sat there on her bed in the still of the darkness waiting for her to tell me why she was crying.
Through sniffles, she said that there were kids teasing her because she was scribbling instead of coloring in the lines. She paused, rubbed her eyes and sniffed. Then she looked at me and said, “I told them, ‘I was doing my very best.’ What more did they want from me? I was doing my very, very best.”
Inside I filled with rage. I can’t stand kids to begin with, but I hate that teasing starts, and over something so silly.
I smiled at her and asked her if it was a paper that had to be turned in or if it was just for fun. She said it was for fun. I then told her that she wasn’t being graded on it, she was showing her creativity through scribbles and those kids that were teasing her were not being very nice. I suggested that next time someone teases her for something she simply look them in the eye (always in the eye) and say, “That hurts my feelings.” These are kindergartners we’re dealing with, here. If you say something honest to them, nine times out of ten those kids are going to back way down. If they don’t, then they’re jerks and they’re not worth her time to be friends with.
She seemed to be OK with my answer and then Matt came in and talked to her some more about it.
Then rage filled Cassie plotted revenge against six year olds.
While I’m irritated that kids are so silly that they’d tease another kid over scribbling, I A.) felt good knowing Claire wouldn’t be the one doing the teasing, and B.) was proud of her response to it.
I figured that was that, and we briefly talked about it the next morning and she said, “If someone wants to tease me, then I don’t need to be their friend.”
She got off the bus and had a big smile on her face. She pulled out a piece of paper and exclaimed, “I’m a star student!”
I asked her what it all meant, and she said “I help people who aren’t necessarily my friends, because it’s the right thing to do.”
That truly deserves an award.
But not more than 10 minutes later, as she was getting dressed for Taekwondo, she began to cry about her glasses. Asking when she can be done with them, and why doesn’t anyone else in her class wear glasses?
Rage began to build inside me because I immediately thought someone was teasing her.
She assured me no one had, it was just an observation, one that made her feel so awful.
Immediately I took out my contacts and put on my glasses, but she said, “You’re my mom. It’s different.”
So I posted it to Facebook. I asked people who wear glasses to post pictures of themselves in glasses and the response was overwhelming. By the time we got to TKD she had tons of photos and words of kindness to make her feel better. I showed them to her before we got out of the car and she had a huge grin on her face.
When we got into the building, Miss Karyn was standing there (who wears glasses) and Claire exclaimed, “I was a star student at school! AND I wear glasses!”
Karyn explained that she has contacts, but she only wears them when skiing. She likes her glasses that much. Claire beamed.
At the end of class, Claire got called up to the front and was awarded a red star for her award, and because she shows respect and integrity.
(The video is awful, but at least I got one, right?)
(Luca, not to be forgotten, ALSO got called up for his third stripe. He will get to test for his orange belt next Saturday!)
So last night, Claire, Luca and I looked at all the photos and statuses everyone posted for her about glasses and Claire couldn’t hide her smile. She still couldn’t believe that Superman wears glasses, and that he doesn’t even need to wear glasses, he just wants to be cool.
Every year seems to come with new surprises and issues. As annoying as it is when a kid throws a tantrum, I’d take that any day over my kid being teased. But at the same time of it all, Claire is turning out to be the kid I want her to be, despite the fact that she scribbles. I told her that scribbling is just another way to express yourself through art. And I’m an artist, so I would know.
She seemed to be OK with that answer.
Having one kid in school is exhausting. Next year I’ll have two. I’ll need to work on my restraint because if I’m already feeling like a Rhino ready to charge a kindergartner…
I’ll just have to take a page out of Claire’s book and say, “I’m trying my very best.”