Last week I had school orientation for all of my kids, Seventh, fifth, and third. It?s always a nerve-wracking couple of days. Will they like their teachers? Will they have friends in their classes?
But no matter those answers, there are constants every year. They will have some mean kids in the class, there will be those kids who are so shy your heart drops for them and I end up thinking about how their first day will be. There will be the kids everyone gravitates around, and the ?nerdier? bunch that will end up ruling the world.
I sit my kids down from time to time and try to them what really matters in life. Of course I am met with eyerolls, and I know a lot of it falls on deaf ears, as our kids kind of need to learn these lessons for themselves.
I tell them that they really just need, and will probably just have five really good friends, hopefully from all walks of life, and everyone else might just be fun time fillers. I tell them that other people will only see what you show them, so show them confidence. I tell them that mean kids are usually that way because they feel shitty about something else. I tell them when they are hysterical about not being included in something, that although it may feel like it, it?s not the end of the world. I tell them that this is the best time of their lives because they get to decide how great they want to be.
I tell them all of these things, but it takes a lifetime and beyond to really know this. To really know that when you grow up, you are going to have maybe two true ?emergency contacts?. That you will care only about what your significant other and kids think of you. That the mean kids have usually grown out of it. That you are happy when you aren?t invited to everything because birthday lunches are lame. And that true joy and contentment comes when the new Whole Foods opens and you have found the flax food Dr. Oz has told you about.
No matter how often we tell our kids not to sweat the small stuff, they just have too, as we all did through school. But once in a while, they might not eyeroll, and actually hear us, and sit and listen as we enjoy a delicious snack of flax crackers and almond butter.
Warning: Sappy Soap Box Moment: Something we can tell our kids that they are more than capable of understanding now: Look out for those kids sitting alone at the lunch table. Ask them to sit with you. Throw the ball to the kid roaming the playground by themselves. Compliment the new girl, tell her you love her shirt. Can you imagine how much better school would be for everyone if all of our kids made a little effort?