Fortitude: Lessons from a kindergartener

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This morning, when we arrived at school, we went to Katie’s classroom, deposited her lunch into her cubby and hung her backpack on its hook.

We then made our way to the playground, where we stood at the entrance.

Our conversation went like this:

Me: Katie, do you see any of your classmates out there?

Katie: No…I don’t recognize anyone.

Me: No worries, we can wait until you see someone who looks familiar.

Katie: I’m okay, Mommy. I want to go play.

Me: But Katie, none of your friends are out there yet.

Katie: Then, I’ll go make some.

And in that moment, I realized that she’s going to be just fine.

The next time I’m standing on the fringe, trying to work up the courage to join in, I hope to remember those wise words from my kindergartener.

Because life should always be that simple.


  1. Cameron

    These kids. They know what's up.

  2. Tear. I love this. Beautiful written, too.

  3. Angela

    What a smart girl you're raising. I need to remember that, too!

  4. @AngryJulie

    Love this. Sometimes we worry too much, when they are just fine. My son is in second grade this year. I was freaking out about teacher, class, etc. He was excited for the teacher he got and even more for the kids in his class that he didn't see too much last year.

  5. They always manage to teach us more than it seems like we teach them. What a brave girl! Hope she had a wonderful first day!

  6. Alicia

    How sweet! If only we could all hold on to the attitudes we had as children!

  7. tracy@sellabitmum

    Gulp. Perfect. Love her. xo

  8. jwilliams057

    Just awesome.

  9. Sarah Caron

    So sweet. We can learn so much from our kids, if we only listen.

  10. May she always have such a positive attitude!
    And yeah, she's gonna be alllllriiiiiiiiiiiight.

  11. That's terrific! Advice that I shall remind myself of as well. I <3 you Katie!

  12. Alaina Mayes

    How brave!!!

  13. Laura

    So next time I go to a blogging conference or have to speak in front of people, can I please bring Katie to drop me off? 'Cause I need some of her amazing outlook and confidence to guide me. YOU have done a good job, mama.

  14. Lyndsey

    We just had this conversation with Max about who he was playing with on the playground and talking to at lunch. He said nobody and my heart sank. He told us its fine Mom I know some kids but I just play all the outside stuff. It's fine!

  15. Jaime

    Nice Katie!!!

  16. thisismynewmoon

    So sweet. I hope she had a wonderful first day.

  17. LOVE this story! You and Craig have done an amazing job! xoxo

  18. Jessica

    So perfect, you have done such a great job with her. Glad that day went well.

  19. nannygoats

    How awesome that she's too young for some of our hangups. :)

  20. Tonya

    Oh, this gave me chills. Truly. You are a big part of why she is so brave and friendly and going to do awesome this school year. xoxo

  21. Sherri

    Totally the most awesome K drop off story I have seen! She nailed it, but only because YOU two laid the groundwork.

    You just didn't realize it.


  22. Aleta

    Awww, you raised her to have a wonderful sense of confidence! Beautiful!

  23. aflournoy

    Wow. Was talking to a young woman who just started graduate school this week. She remarked how most of her classmates seemed to have paired off with a 'friend' on the first day with a sort of death grip quality of possessiveness. Maybe you've hit on one of the most basic problems in the whole world… that EVERYone at all the schools, conferences, film festivals, even (maybe especially) political conventions is suffering from the panic of feeling like a left-out loser. (I certainly did in moments at BlogHer…) Everyone, that is, except your daughter! Brava! Looking forward to meeting you in Ojai.

  24. That has to make you feel so good! Knowing that she is confident on her own. Landon is so shy and has his best friend in his kindergarten class. I think it's a blessing and a curse at the same time. Comforted that he has a friend, but afraid he won't make new friends!

  25. Great lesson indeed! She's so fantastic! Love this post.

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