Category Archives: Self-esteem
To my daughter’s Kindy teacher,
How do I begin to thank you for what you’ve done for Baby G this year?
You welcomed my little girl into your classroom in the beginning of the year with your arms wide open. No booboo wasn’t worth a cuddle and a band-aid and, likewise, no achievement wasn’t worth a mighty celebration. It didn’t matter that the achievement was ‘not crying’ when it was goodbye Mummy time – you recognised the gravity of each and every moment in her year and respected her right to be little for as long as she needed to be. As a result, Baby G dances into your classroom, runs to you for cuddles and declares you to be the prettiest of all fairy princesses. How do I thank you for that?
You start every morning with a song and dance, you have constant music in the background and the vibe in Kindy is sometimes so delicious, I can’t bring myself to say goodbye and go. You often smile and let me join in as the kids dance and sing “jump up, turn around, have a happy morrrr-ning!”, knowing that this is my last baby through your room. You let me immerse myself in the deliciousness of my little girl at this special stage of life, even though you really should make me go. You allow me to wring every last little bit of joy out of this Kindy year and I watch you patiently and gently do the same for the other Mums. You get that our babies are only this little for a fleeting time. You care. You’re generous with your classroom. How do I thank you for that?
You have taught my child so many wonderful things! She comes home, excitedly demonstrating SY-LAB-BI-FI-CA-TION, clapping and counting syllables as though this is the be all and end all and everything exciting in the world. She lines up her teddies and teaches them to count in tens, she sounds out words and, sparkly-eyed, waxes lyrical about Jolly Phonics. She wants to learn, she thirsts for it. She uses words like synopsis and transparent and magnificent. She finds incredible joy in learning. Because you make learning tantalising. How do I thank you for that?
My child cries on weekend mornings because there’s no school. She plays with her baby dolls and names them all “Janine” after you. How do I thank you for that?
Baby G has learnt so much more in this first year of school than numeracy and literacy. Under your care, she has learned empathy. When she does something kind for other kids and I praise her, she often explains that it was you who taught her to do so. She has learned patience and inclusion and love. She has experienced the intense warmth that has come from her absolute trust in you. How do I thank you for that?
You have given my little girl an incredibly beautiful and rock-solid start to her school career. How do I thank you for that?
My simple ‘thank you’ seems so inadequate. But, THANK YOU, all the same.
You’ve made a difference,
With abundant love,
If you liked this post, click the thumbs-up button at the bottom of this post.
I’d really love to hear your comments, so please don’t be shy (comments make me do a happy dance).
You may also want to read:
- A special day
- A Thank You Letter to my daughter’s Kindergarten Teacher.
- ADHD explained.
- Kids ADHD explained.
- Am I a slave to my children?
- Sometimes, being Mummy ain’t all that.
- Baking a batch of memories
- “Teach him to ride a bike”, they said. “It will be fun”, they said.
- I’m leaving on a jet plane… (or seven.)
- Imaginary friends, kangaroo scrotums and personal growth.
The Ugly Beautifuls
On a recent family trip away to breathtakingly beautiful Kalbarri, a small coastal town on the West Australian coast, we spent a lot of time walking the seemingly endless length of the untouched beaches and collecting shells. In the evenings, we’d lay them all out and sort through the treasures we’d found.
Kids love to sort and categorise and this was especially true for Baby G. Long after the bigger kids had gone off to do what big kids do, she could be found inspecting each and every shell and carefully considering where it belonged.
She had very specific piles. She explained that The Curlies were the shells that she could hold to her ear and listen to the sea. They had curly insides and that was the part that she thought was special. Eyes glinting, she proudly showed me The Pretties, named because they were pearlescent and lovely. Seriously, she held up one of the group that looked like mini volcanoes and declared that they were called, logically, The Volcanoes. Next to these were The Interestings, named so because they couldn’t be categorised but were cool and needed to be picked up and kept, nonetheless. Finally, with a solemn face, she showed me the last of her groups and, with reverence, she declared them to be The Ugly Beautifuls.
I looked down at this group of shells and inwardly giggled. They really weren’t beautiful, but she sure was accurate when it came to the “Ugly” descriptor. They looked like little brains… small whitish blobs of shell, shaped like pieces of brain.
I asked her, “Baby G, why do you call these The Ugly Beautifuls?” Read the rest of this entry
This morning, as I battled to tame her deliciously curly brown hair for school, Baby G very sadly uttered,
“Mama, I wish I had long, straight yellow hair and blue eyes.”
That one sentence halted my world, Matrix like. In the microseconds that followed, I was forced to swallow the bitter pill that was her first yearning to be something other than herself. That one sentence had the potential to become the first brick in the foundation of the hateful self-doubt jail that so many of us women have built and locked ourselves in. That one sentence needed to be faced, head on.
I responded, faking nonchalance, “Tell me, why do you want long, straight, yellow hair and blue eyes?”
She replied (somewhat condescendingly), “Because EVERYONE knows that yellow hair and blue eyes are the prettiest kind.”
As I mentally beat Barbie to smithereens with a meat mallet and cursed Disney for Cinderella and Rapunzel, I dug deep for the right words to say to her.
As an adult ADHD sufferer with severe organizational and time management issues (and by severe, I mean crippling, suffocating, chaos-causing issues), I have found myself becoming increasingly overwhelmed by the volume of housework, kids’ school organizing and personal to-dos in the past few months. In true ADHD style, I find myself dealing with a zillion unrelated to-dos by running around in circles, flapping my arms and yelling at everyone. Here’s a heads up: this method does not work. Read the rest of this entry
(How a doll from 1984 taught me a lesson last week.)
I walked along the aisle, staring intently at box after box. Peeking at me through each cellophane window was a hopeful face that quietly implored, “Me! Me! Choose me!”
I was as stressed out as an eight year old could be, torn between the one with blue eyes and blonde pigtails and the one with brown hair, dimples and green eyes. I could not believe this day had come. I was going to become a Mommy!
It was 1984 and to celebrate my eighth birthday, I was adopting a Cabbage Patch Kid.
This was serious business. Cabbage Patch Kids were not simply dolls, you know. They were orphans who needed mommies (orphans grown in a cabbage patch, which was slightly weird, but details…) and I felt the full weight of this immense responsibility on my little shoulders.
How was I going to choose the right one? Oh, the agony of indecision. There were endless choices and combinations – dimples on one cheek or both, blonde hair in a ponytail or pigtails. Green, grey or blue eyes. This would be a decision of epic proportions.
Having narrowed my choice down to pretty blonde and cute-as-a-button brunette, I decided to walk another lap and clear my mind.
That’s when I saw The One. Read the rest of this entry
Hello there, you miserable naysayer,
I’ve been home for almost two weeks and I’ve been wondering where you are. You’ve been very quiet (not like your usual ankle-kicking, dream-squishing self) and, for that, I’m grateful. I do realise that you’re waiting to jump out and yell, “No!” and “You can’t!” when I’m least expecting you to. Before that day comes, I have a few things to say to you: Read the rest of this entry
I have a confession: I have a slew of imaginary friends.
We may never have met in the flesh (you see, they live in my iPad) but if there’s anything I’ve learned this past year, it’s this:
kindness and compassion don’t need flesh and bone to be felt.
Funny bones can be tickled via keystrokes.
Friendships can be built out of pixels.
In July, I made the epic (nearly 30 hour) journey to Chicago from Australia for the annual BlogHer ’13 Conference, the biggest blogging conference in the world with close to six thousand attendees from around the globe. I had never met, in the traditional sense of the word, anyone who was going. Friends and family commented that I was so brave, so bold, to be going there alone and wondered how I’d pluck up the courage to walk in and face thousands of strangers. I tried (in vain) to explain that I wasn’t going alone, that I wasn’t going to be facing strangers at all.
Quite the contrary Read the rest of this entry