Monday Mama: Lessons from a 1st Grader

December 15, 2014 in Love Notes

I love when my sisters let me spotlight them on this blog because they are my biggest role models and I look up to them so much. I don’t know what I would do without them. Even being states away they would do anything for me and are so selfless.

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Today I’m sharing my sister Annalee’s story. I’ve always been close to her and I love her so much because she is someone who will always have my back no matter what. She has always believed in me. Even when I was little. She is my biggest supporter in all my crazy dreams whether it was going to Africa, moving out of state, switching majors in school, or anything I really wanted to do she’s helped me get there.  She’ll even let me “accidentally” color her hair purple and pull it off like that’s the color she wanted anyways. 😉 That’s just the kind of sister she is. She is the reason this blog has grown so quickly because she called me one day and said I could do it.

She has one of the most tender hearts of anyone I know and is a behind the scenes kind of person who takes care of others without any recognition. She will drop anything for anybody. I love my sister.

Here’s her story:

“Parenting is by far, the hardest thing I think I have ever done. Yes, labor was pretty intensive, but labor goes away. Parenting is gonna be here whether I like it or not! ;). The other day, I went to pick Avery up from school, just like I always do. She climbed in the car and started to get buckled. I asked her how her day was and without any hesitation, she instantly asked if she could have a friend over after school. I told her no, that it was Monday and that she had gymnastics that night. She immediately started to fall apart. In fact, she was screaming at me at the top of her lungs in the car. Yes, it was not a very proud moment for me as a parent. I proceeded to tell her that she needed to get her other stuff done before we had to leave. She needed to read and practice her spelling. She fell even more apart. After I had told her that we don’t talk to anyone in that voice, we began to have a civil conversation. She told me what she had for lunch and then proceeded to tell me what happened at recess….

Apparently, there was a girl (a first grader, in a different class than Avery) who was searching for her friends and couldn’t find them. Avery, being my little sweat-hearted girl, went up to her and asked her if she could play with her. Through Avery’s tears, she told me that the girl told her “no” and that she wasn’t very nice. As a mom, I wanted to march over there, find out who it was and have a little chat with this child. …my heart sunk. There was so much more to this tantrum than just not being able to play with a friend. I asked her if she had been feeling bad all day and her response “yes”…and huge alligator tears streamed down her face. We talked a little bit about why we thought this little girl didn’t want to play. I told Avery, that maybe she was just having a bad a day. Or maybe she was right in the middle of trying to find her friends and didn’t want to be distracted…honestly, I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t want Avery to react and turn this little girl into a mean girl, or vice versa. I wanted Avery to give this girl the benefit of the doubt. The conversation continued, and I asked what she played and who she played with the rest of recess. She said that “Allie” came up and asked if she could play with their little group and Avery said yes. I guess her other little friend whispered into her ear and said she didn’t want “Allie” to play in their group. I asked her what she said to this other little girl, “did you allow Allie to play?” and Avery responded that she had. She said they were playing “duck, duck, goose” and it ended up being more fun with “Allie” in the group. As crappy as that moment was, there was a proud moment as well. My daughter had overcome peer pressure and had done what she felt was right. I was so proud of my little 6 year old. So proud.

I try really hard to teach my children to be nice. I drill it into Avery every morning, to look for those sitting by themselves or those that don’t look like they have any friends, to go over and ask if they want to play. Avery is pretty forward, she is pretty friendly, and isn’t afraid to ask if someone wants to play. (I really hope this doesn’t destroy that trait in her).  But that moment when you can’t protect your child from pain, even if it is as silly as someone saying “no” to your wants or wishes, is pretty crappy.

I am so tired of this negative attitude we all have. Aren’t we all in this together? Aren’t we in this life to end in the same purpose, whether we believe in the same things or not? Don’t we all just strive to find our own happiness? Does it hurt to be nice to people? Does it hurt to make people feel like they belong? Does it hurt to have lots of friends? I feel like this attitude this little girl had, has come straight from her parents. Are we not teaching our children to be nice to each other? Are they learning from our actions? There is nothing more annoying to me, than to read comments on Facebook or news website, and all they can do is point out the negative in the story. There is belittling and backbiting, judging and calling out, and bullying…and I am seriously so tired of it. Because we can sit in front of a computer and not in front of someone’s face, that gives it the ok to be hurtful and rude? Sounds pretty cowardly. We have become such a bitter and entitled people. I truly hope that I can teach my child to have thick skin and be able to look at the good in people. I hope that, that isn’t my child that says no when someone asks to play. I hope that my girls are in the group that people want to be associated with. I hope my girls are kind and thoughtful and include everyone. I truly hope that, that isn’t MY daughter who is judgmental and rude. I hope that MY daughters are loving and can give everyone the benefit of the doubt and look past imperfections. But I also hope that my daughters are respectful and get respect in return and be accepting. Dang! parenting is hard!

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I am proud of my little first grader. If there are two things she takes away from first grade is one…she can read…and two…she learns how to be kind with those she associates with.

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  • Jaymie December 15, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    Oh I love that girl. She is so sweet.

  • Jaymie December 15, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    Oh I love that girl. She is so sweet.

  • Heather December 15, 2014 at 6:46 pm

    I too hate the negativity and I’m super worried about how it’s going to be for my three-year-old daughter when she gets older/in school. She has such a tender heart too but she’s sensitive with it, so I can see something similar happening to her and breaking my heart. I think you did a great job handling it! Thanks for sharing your story!

  • Heather December 15, 2014 at 6:46 pm

    I too hate the negativity and I’m super worried about how it’s going to be for my three-year-old daughter when she gets older/in school. She has such a tender heart too but she’s sensitive with it, so I can see something similar happening to her and breaking my heart. I think you did a great job handling it! Thanks for sharing your story!

  • Mike Johnson December 15, 2014 at 11:40 pm

    What a cute little girl! I love the story!

  • Mike Johnson December 15, 2014 at 11:40 pm

    What a cute little girl! I love the story!

  • musingsbythebay December 16, 2014 at 4:32 am

    What an inspirational story; thanks for sharing!

  • musingsbythebay December 16, 2014 at 4:32 am

    What an inspirational story; thanks for sharing!

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