Always Stick Together

All I Ever Really Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten
– by Robert Fulghum

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.
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. Learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work some every day.
Take a nap every afternoon. When you go out into the world, watch for traffic, hold hands, and stick together. Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the plastic 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 plastic cup – they all die. So do we.
And then remember the book about Dick and Jane 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 sane living.
Think of what a better world it would be if we all – the whole world – had cookies and milk about 3 o’clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankets for a nap. Or if we had a basic policy in our nation and other nations to always put things back where we found them and clean up our own messes. 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.

This has always been a favorite poem of mine. It is true today, more than ever. Today my four gifts from God will all pile into an old green Blazer, driven by my first-born and go to high school. There will be no walking them to the classroom, no tearful goodbye (I will be lucky to get a nod and grunt) and my house will be quiet for a few hours. In the silence will be the memories of all the first days of school in the past, and the whisper of opportunity, for precious few, in the future.

I have thought about this morning for so long. When Isaac was born, I projected to this day, and when Jessie was born I knew this day would be a day of conflicted emotions. When John and Christian arrived and I realized I would have four kids in high school at the same time my thoughts were less towards the sentimental and more toward the what the heck have we done?

So today I celebrate, I reminisce. I have a mimosa with my dad, who all too clearly remembers what it was like to have three in high school at the same time. I laugh and cry and I hope they will remember all they really needed to know, they learned in kindergarten. Always stick together!


5 Comments so far
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Mirrors many of the sentiments I wrote yesterday. The start of school is bitter-sweet for me this year, too. Love this poem, too. Good luck to your high schoolers, and to you! Enjoy your mimosa, and Cheers!

Comment by Transitioning Mom

Yes, wow good for you homeschooling all the way thru! You both should be very proud of your accomplishment. Cheers to you as well and maybe we will meet to toast each other when they are all through.!!

Comment by Kari

Your voice is especially good today, my friend. Made me cry. And what a huge day this is for you. I’ll pray for protection all ’round that green Blazer. B.

Comment by Barb Stoefen

Barb, Thank you, I have been crying and laughing all morning. your prayers are so important thank you, your friendship is a treasure to me, love you, kari

Comment by Kari

I love kari lee johnson and the whole johnson family. You go girl. count them 4 kids in high school. it will be over in a blink of an eye. so love em while you gottem.

Comment by klmsweet

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