Smooth Transitions Become Traditions

 

When my eldest child, Caitlin, was entering kindergarten, she cried and cried when it was time to say goodbye. I tried everything, notes in her lunch box, promises of waiting in the office, allowing her to bring a favorite stuffed animal in her book bag. Nothing helped. After multiple creative attempts to console her, I finally sat her down one and asked her what was wrong. Why was she having such a difficult time letting me go? Her answer was very simple. I was not there with her. She needed to know that even though I wasn’t there in person, that she could still feel me with her.
That evening I sat Caitlin down and read her the wonderful story called “The Kissing Hand”. In this story a baby raccoon has trouble leaving his mother to go to school, so the mother kisses his hand and tells him that her love travels from his hand to his heart, and stays there with him no matter where he goes. In this way she is with him all day. After reading the story to Caitlin, I asked her if she would like to try this the following day at school.
She agreed, and at drop off time the next day I kissed her hand and said ” I love you”. She surprised me by taking my hand hand and kissing it too. “Now I am with you too” she said, and walked into her classroom. Caitlin is now eleven, and each day she still waits for me to kiss her hand, and then kisses mine back before getting on the bus for middle school.
Sometimes it’s the littlest things that mean the most.

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