Ever realize how certain life lessons will continually pop up until you actually decide to learn them? It’s like why I can’t figure out that after the 3rd glass of wine I’m going to have a raging headache the next day. Or why I should never go to the grocery store hungry. Or why I should floss more. Or why I should never ask anyone, “Do I look fat in this outfit?”
I still keep slamming my head into those doors some days.
But some lessons I have learned, or at least remember better than others. And the ones I’ve learned now at the ripe old age of 27 took me about 20 years to pick up on since most of them were taught to me in Elementary School. For one, the whole “Life’s not Fair” was taught to me when I was about 5.
This particular life lesson happened during nap time in Kindergarten (seriously can we bring that back for the adult working world?). My lovely teacher, Miss. Jenkins, had a reward for whoever was laying the quietest during nap time. This student would get to hold Miss. Jenkins magic wand and slowly go around a wake everyone else up. Um hello this is awesome!! Not only do I get to feel special (I was a total Teacher’s Pet) but I get to hold the magic wand – amazing!!
This was pretty much what I envisioned it would be as I woke all my lowly classmates up from their nap:
This prize was mine. I wanted it so very badly, almost like as much as I wanted the Barbie Dreamhouse with the working elevator and matching corvette during the 1990 Christmas (and probably 5 years after that too). So you better believe I laid as stiff as a board during nap time. I think I even tried to hold my breath at one point so I really wouldn’t be moving. My early perfectionist skills were clearly evident as a young child. Hence my choice to become a therapist….
So I waited, and waited, and waited. And then it happened. Someone tapped me on my shoulder – I was being chosen to be the lucky magic-wand-nap-waker-uper! But as I opened my eyes expecting to see Miss. Jenkins, I see……Chad???? What the heck are you doing waking me up, and why do you have the MAGIC WAND???? Chad Collinsworth (that’s not his name but it makes the story better), the kid who peed his pants almost every week? Chad the kid who I caught eating his boogers while we were singing the ABCs? Chad the kid who threw a Ninja Turtle at my head because I stole “his swing”? You can’t be serious Miss. Jenkins. This kid doesn’t even know how to tie his shoe, so how can you expect him to use the magic wand properly?
I was miffed to say the least. I think I sulked around the rest of the day (a school day that ended at noon – again awesome thing we need in the adult world). When I told my mom about the whole horrific incident she just smiled and told me, “Aw honey, life’s just not fair sometimes. You have to remember that all the kids in the class need to be the class leader sometime, and that includes Chad.” I listened politely and tried to understand this mumbo jumbo coming out of my mom’s mouth, but it wasn’t making much sense.
So now here I am over 20 years later and I’m telling the students I work with the same “life’s not fair” shtick my mom told me. Why? Because it’s true. Life isn’t fair, it doesn’t make sense, and it never will. And while now I recognize that all students (Teacher’s Pets, Class Clowns, Silent Types, Rebels) need to feel special and recognized, it took me a very long time to understand that everyone will get their “magic wand” moment sometime.
Happy Friday Everyone 🙂
PS – Chad, I don’t know what has become of your life but I only hope great and wonderful things have happened to you. Hopefully you have moved beyond hurling small turtle figurines at girls heads. And if not, well I know a lot of good therapists.