Remembering Kindergarten Wisdom
Posted by Kathleen Pooler/@kathypooler
Author’s Note: I’m offline until 9/19 This was originally posted in June ,2011. Even though my grandson Jacob is a big third grader now, he’s off to bigger and better things because of what he learned in Kindergarten. I’d like to think we all are. Feel free to leave comments and I will respond when I return.
“The older I grow the more I distrust the familiar doctrine that age brings wisdom.” H.L. Menchen, Prejudices
As I sat in anticipation of my grandson’s Kindergarten “Career Presentation”, this poster on the front wall caught my attention:
I immediately calculated the hours I had spent in on-line writing courses, writers’ conferences,critique groups over the past two years to learn what my 6-year old grandson, Jacob and his classmates had learned in Kindergarten. Their project was to write a story about what they wanted to be when they grew up then to read their story to their audience of parents, grandparents and younger siblings. They had to dress the part.
We hushed and turned our heads as the twenty smiling six-year olds marched in line (remember those lines?) through the library to the front of the room. There was a paramedic, a doctor, a few ballerinas, a chef, a few police officers, a few teachers, a soccer player and an astronaut (that would be Jacob). One by one, they approached the microphone to read their stories. Some were shy,barely audible, and needed a little prompting from their teacher who sat right next to them with her gentle encouragement. Others stood tall and confident as they broadcasted what they wanted to be. But they all told their stories in their own unique ways, capturing our hearts with their hopes and dreams.
When I asked Jacob why he wanted to be an astronaut, he replied: “Because I want to see the planets. I’ve never been in space before and I want to go there.”
Such a simple answer made me think..Hmmph, there really are no boundaries in a child’s mind.. I really need to tap into that pure wisdom…I’ve never published a book, I really want to go there…or ________________(you fill in the blank)
I might not have learned the art and craft of storytelling nor dared to dream of flying to the moon in my 1951 Kindergarten classroom but I am learning from the Class of 2024 that the sky is the limit when it comes to following my bliss.
Armed with all this pure and innocent wisdom, can you even imagine the places they’ll go?May we all approach our hopes and dreams with the same child-like wonder and energy that permeated the room during their presentation last week.
Class of 2024, you are our future and we can all learn from your Kindergarten wisdom. Thank you for reminding me that:
Most of what I really need to know about how to live, and what to do, and how to be, I learned in Kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate school mountain but there in the sandbox at nursery school…..
“I say, follow your bliss and don’t be afraid and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.” Joseph Campbell
What Kindergarten Wisdoms do you have to share?
I’d love to hear from you. Please leave your comments below~
Thursday, September 19: Join me over at Madeline Sharples’ blog, Choices for a guest post: “Five Tips for Honoring the Story Within: A Memoir Writer’s Challenge.”
Next Week: “A Memoir Moment: …a surprise!”