I was reading all these quotes by Haruki Murakami. Don’t ask me why. I was looking for something encouraging to say to a friend who was having a bad day. Haruki Murakami isn’t really the person you quote when you’re trying to make someone feel better.
I was sitting on the floor of my classroom next to Genny’s bed, around 12:45 pm. She was finally calming down and talking to herself on her bed, getting ready to nap. Periodically I would pat her and remind her to put her bunny to bed, so it could sleep. I must have looked distressed or concerned. I had just come across a quote,
“Despite your best efforts, people are going to be hurt when it’s time for them to be hurt”
She looked at me and asked what was wrong. I explained to her that I was trying to make a friend feel better because he was having a bad day and I wanted to help. She asked about his day, but I felt that getting into the details of someone’s drug overdose and it’s effects on friends and family wasn’t really something for the preschool curriculum.
I just said, “You know when you miss your mommy and you don’t want to come to school?”
“What do you do when you feel like that?”
She looked at me like I was testing her. Like I wanted her to spout off some of the social emotional mumbo jumbo everyone’s been pushing into her little head. She looked at me like there was a right answer and she was trying to figure out what it was. She started to smile a little and giggled,
she said, “Teacheeeer, try again tomorrow”
Maybe that was/is the right answer. Maybe this 5 year old and Haruki Murakami could team up and go on motivational speaking tours. He would give it to you straight (and maybe a little harsh) and she would perk you back up with her simplistic kid coping mechanisms.