When I went into help in Juan Carlos' 1st grade class last week, his teacher pulled me aside and told me she had to show me something. It was a writing assignment where the kids were supposed to respond to a letter from a disgruntled young woman, Lizzie, who was upset that she couldn't join the boys only Soccer Club, despite her supposed soccer skills.
She first showed me a few of the other kids' response which were generally along the lines of, "I'm sorry. It's not fair, you can play with us" or "the club should be for boys AND girls" or "if you keep practicing, we'll let you join."
Then she showed me Juan Carlos' paper:
"I am sorry but that is how it is. You can make you're own club" (please disregard the grammatical error, he's only 6 :) )
His teacher loved it. I felt like in those two short sentences, that she had a window into our home and how we deal with a lot of the problems around here. "You're going to have to work it out.", "What are you going to do about it?", "You're ok" , "You're going to have to deal with it.", "You can handle it", "Life's not fair", "You can't always get what you want" (sung to them in my lovely singing voice. You know the song, from the Rolling Stones?)
Not that he's not a compassionate little guy, he is, actually his answer surprised me a little. He will often come home and tell me he helped so-and-so who was sad, or showed the new kid around. He draws pictures when we're sick and gives great hugs. And I do like that he realizes that sometimes life isn't fair and offers poor Lizzie a suggestion. But, it still made me feel a little weird.
Like I'd better watch out or I'm going to be complaining about my arthritis in the nursing home someday and he'll tell me, "Sorry, but that's just how it is. Take some aspirin and suck it up."