As I count down the day until the yellow bus picks up Maddox in our driveway, my heart flutters nervously. She is no longer walking into a small one building preschool. She will be walking into a real school building.
Going from one room to 30 rooms scares the daylights out of me!
I worry about natural disaster things like if there is a fire, will she get out safely? Will she know what to do during a lockdown drill?
I worry about the 29 other classrooms that she is not in. The kids have not met her yet but when they do, what will they think of her? Will she win their hearts, will they laugh and tease her?
I worry about gym class. Will she remember to keep her eyes up when she runs or will she flatten the brick wall? I worry about recess. Will she have the communication skills to tell the boys she wants to play tag too?
Lunch. She chokes a lot, will there be enough eyes to watch her?
Will she keep up with the speed of the lessons? How much repetition will she need for each subject. My mind swirls at how how hard my year is going to be just to support her at home.
While I am busy worrying whether she learns everything she is supposed to, I am missing what she is teaching.
In social studies, she will teach others that no matter what kind of start to your day, you must greet people with a smile. She will teach people that every day is a chance to start over, a new beginning. And that a simple positive gesture can lift someone else to the moon.
In art, she will remind other that colors don't matter. Even if you're white or black or anything in between, you must always, always say hello to a passerby. She'll teach you that being friendly doesn't require effort and the rewards from making someone else's day
can fill your heart.
And in physical education, she will teach you about being 'physical' with others. My softhearted Maddie, she'll know who needs hugs. She's got the intuition of an Angel. And she'll teach you that offering compassion can warm you faster than any cup of tea.
In reading, she'll teach you about imagination and will definitely alert people to take the scenic route. Stop and smell the roses (literally) on the way in each day. (And if you're Maddox, you'll probably pick them too, sorry!)
In science, she will teach you about the ripple effect; how perseverance leads to pride. And that nobody can steal your hard earned pride. She will teach you the meaning of hard work and show you what repeated failures can look like. But this little girl, she comes with more determination than I have ever seen. Failures to her don't mean quit. It means try again, try another way, try until you persevere. She'll teach you how, just watch her close.
And lastly, in math she will teach you that 2 + 2 means nothing unless you plan on sharing two apples with two friends.
She will put into perspective, the important things in life.
So my wish for you Maddox, as I send you off, is that you teach your new school more than the school teaches you.