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All he’ll need to know begins tomorrow

All 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 sandpile at Sunday School. These are the things I learned:

Share everything.



Play fair.

Don’t hit people.




Put things back where you found them.

Clean up your own mess.

Don’t take things that aren’t yours.

Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.

Wash your hands before you eat.

Flush.

Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.

Live a balanced life ” earn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.

Take a nap every afternoon.

When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.

Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.

Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the ” Styrofoam cup- ” they all die. So do we.

And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned ” the biggest word of all ” LOOK.

Everything you need to know is in there somewhere. The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation. Ecology and politics and equality and sane living.

Take any one of those items and extrapolate it into sophisticated adult terms and apply it to your family life or your work or your government or your world and it holds true and clear and firm. Think what a better world it would be if we all ” the whole world ” had cookies and milk about three o’clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankies for a nap. Or if all governments had as a basic policy to always put things back where they found them and to clean up their own mess.

And it is still true, no matter how old you are ” when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.

” Robert Fulghum

This poem by Robert Fulghum is one of my personal favorites. It is so simple, so to the point, so true. It rings especially true with me today because tomorrow my only child is starting kindergarten.

Whoa, how did that happen?

How is it possible that he is old enough to go to school?

Tomorrow he will begin a journey and I will tag along with him. That is what parents do right?

There is no hesitation on his part, no clinging to childhood. He views this as his right, his turn. He’s watched with rapt curiosity as classmates have gone from his Discovery Preschool class downstairs to Discovery Preschool class upstairs and he has eventually followed, the next step is kindergarten.

Logical in his mind, a giant life change in mine. He is ready. I am not. He knows all the basics required to enter school ” A, B, Cs and 1, 2, 3s. He knows how to share and sit in circle time and play.

What he doesn’t know, cannot possibly know, is that his life is being crafted from tomorrow forward. This journey that begins in kindergarten is a journey of a lifetime, or one of 13 years anyway. What he learns along the way will help determine what he’ll become in this life.

Wow, that’s big. That’s a lot of pressure on our educators. But I don’t expect them to carry the full load. I’ll be tagging along as I said. It’s a partnership, my son, his teachers and us as his parents. We will travel together.

I am looking forward to this part of our life. School plays, book mobiles, field trips and soccer games and PTO. Tomorrow will be a milestone, something we capture in pictures and photo albums. Tomorrow, the Class of 2019 will begin to learn all they ever really need to know.

I’ll need to know where the tissues are.


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