Ah, Spring. The time in the school year where you need your students to buckle down, but they can see the beauty and warmth outside the window which renders buckling impossible. It is also the time of year when kindergarten rooms are equipped with incubators and 12 potential chicks (aka eggs). The air in the school is abuzz with anticipation of the arrival of these little birds.
Although she goes to a different school, my daughter's class was no different than any other kindergarten class in our area. All last weekend, she talked about how there would soon be chicks in their class at school. They'd start hatching on Monday. She came home Monday night reporting that four had hatched (she also came home begging to bring them home...to which I said no, as we don't live on a farm and the ones we hatch at school are good only for eating. I am perfectly happy purchasing preplucked chicken at the store).
On Tuesday, the rest hatched. When I picked the kindergartner up after school she ran up to me and said, "Mom, I have just terrible news." I immediately thought, "What do I need to sign? Where's the note?" But no, that was not the news. She looked at me with little tears forming in her eyes and said, "Mom, one of the baby chicks in my class hatched, but then it died." I said, "Oh that's so sad." I was all prepared to talk about how sometimes that happens, when she pulled herself together and said, "Mom, that's just the way of life," as though I might be too upset about it. It was sweet. It also made me sad that I can't keep her protected from the sometimes harsh realities of life forever.