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Something She Wouldn't Learn in Public School

Mallory came home yesterday wearing a "Faith" bracelet she'd made in Religion class. It was made of several colored beads on a black cord. I asked her to tell me about it and she said, "Well, the blue bead is for water, the green bead is for trees, the yellow bead is for the sun, the brown bead is for the earth. And the red bead is for Jesus' blood, and the black bead is because Jesus died."

I was a bit taken aback by the last two beads (not in a bad way, please understand, it's just that I'm as new to Catholic school as Mallory herself is), but I said, "Well, that's a great bracelet. All the beads stand for something very special."

"It's not so special that Jesus died," she protested.

"Actually it is. Haven't you learned yet why Jesus died?"

"No."

"Well, Jesus died so everyone can go to heaven," I said, after a moment of wondering how to explain it best. And immediately regretted even beginning this line of conversation, because millions of questions followed. Where is Jesus now? (Heaven.) Who takes care of him in heaven? (God does.) What will happen to him when God dies? (God doesn't die.) Why doesn't God die, everyone dies? (God is not a person.) What is God if he's not a person? (He's God.) But what does that mean? (Eat your dinner.)

Theological conundrums aside, Mallory is doing very well. The troubles she was having a few weeks ago have cleared up; I had a really nice discussion with her teacher and am pretty much convinced that she is not, in fact, mean to the kids. Mallory was apparently having a hard time making the transition to her hugs-and-kisses, sunshine-and-roses preschool teachers, in a preschool class where no one every told you you were doing anything wrong, to her more blunt, matter-of-fact kindergarten teacher who has fairly high expectations and is a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to things like holding pencils and forming letters and numbers. I had to explain to Mallory that Mrs F is not necessarily mad at her when she tells her to keep her M's within the lines or to not use a big ol' circle to dot her lower case i's or to pay attention to worksheet directions. And apart from one meltdown last week (she woke up and said she wasn't going to go to school, I left her crying in her room, she finally came downstairs and confessed, "I can't go to school because it's K day and I don't know how to make a K!" So we spent five minutes practicing K's before breakfast,and all was well), she's doing much better. I talked to Mrs F again this week and she said Mallory is really blossoming and is even answering some "tough questions" in class. Whatever that may mean; she's happy, so I'm happy.

She's learning a lot too. She's very into spelling especially: "What does S T O P spell?" or "I know how to spell Gorilla! M O N K E Y!"; she also now understands number sequences: "Mommy, the clock says 7 11. Next it will say 7 12. Then it'll be 7 13. Then..."

It's fun, watching her learn.

Comments

aimee said…
It is hard answering questions about Jesus' death and why he died. Rhett always has questions about that. How do you explain sacrifice to small children who don't even like sharing toys with their siblings?

I am glad she is happy in school finally!
Anonymous said…
I'm glad that school is going well. And you're right. She would never make a faith bracelet in public school!

Mom

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