Yesterday after the second day of school, one of my first graders confessed that he’s “just not a school person”. I did what any mom would do and tried not to laugh out loud in his face. This is the same kid that loves his teacher, loves his class, and loved the first day of school. I asked why he thought that he just wasn’t a “school person” and he went on to tell me how hard first grade is because he knew all the stuff in kindergarten and he just doesn’t know all the stuff in first grade. We talked a little bit about how that’s the reason why he goes to school, so he can learn that “stuff”. And I told him that if he has a hard time with it we’re happy to help him at home, too. And then I told him the most important part: you don’t get to “not be a school person” when you’re 6 years old. School is what 6 year olds do!
Fast forward to this morning. Our lawn has needed to be mowed for a little while but its been so hot and muggy and there was getting the kids off to the start of school. And it just hasn’t gotten done. Truth be told, I’ve had plans to do it several times over the last week but every time I stepped outside it was just too humid. So, today was the day. I was out there mowing in 80% humidity and thinking that I have no problem at all with hard work. I’ve mowed this lawn a lot, painted the inside of our house, do my own yard work and housework, and take care of 5 kids. I am no stranger to work and I was raised to believe that if something needs to be done and I can do it that I should do it. I love that way of life and want my kids to learn it from me, too. But I really hate to sweat. Oh, I’m okay with working up a little sweat but I really hate when there are buckets of sweat pouring off me and I don’t feel like I’ll ever be dry again. So, while I was mowing the lawn, and getting drenched in the process, I didn’t exactly have the best attitude about it.
And then, those words that I said to my 6 year old came right back and slapped me in the face. He doesn’t get to be “not a school person” and I don’t get to be “a person who doesn’t like to sweat”! While its not perfect, I have a strong, healthy body and am fully capable of mowing the lawn, even in 80% humidity. Just like school is the place for him at this time in his life, there will be things I have to do, but don’t necessarily want to do, that are just what I need to be doing for my own learning and growth. There are lessons to be learned while mowing the lawn, dripping in sweat, that can’t be learned anywhere else. And one that I learned today is that I’m more like my kids than I’d like to admit.