Parenting Blog

The Coolest and The Kindest Kid

My tween proves it is easy to be the coolest and the kindest kid

It was the third day of school, mid-August.

The sun was at the peak of her powers, still, and yet the 11-year-old who’s now a full fledged 6th grader was wearing black leggings, boots, and a hoodie. Her look, more reliable than the postman.

With hair longer on the right side from an experimental cut in June, a deep navy blue and two-tone purple geometric band keeping most of it off her forehead, some tricked-out dangle earrings she made, and lips that shimmered with freshly reapplied gloss, this kid, my baby girl, looked exactly like the cool kid named in the closing credits if we were living inside a made-for-TV movie, or middle school sitcom, or Broadway musical.

Unlike the cool kid as often portrayed through those fictional mediums, however, this cool kid is also the kindest.

Upon discovering the student I was there to collect after flashing this year’s yellow name placard, one of the parent pickup line teachers ran over to my passenger side window. It was the cool kid’s Spanish teacher, Señora Fike. She was eager to tell me that the cool kid walking closer to the curb had just been awarded a ticket signifying something extraordinary.

During her Spanish class at the tail end of the day, the first Spanish class of the new 6th grade school year, the vast majority of students were being unruly, chatty and in general making it super difficult for Señora Fike to gain control. Quietly, the cool kid raised her hand with two fingers spread apart in peace sign style. This is the school identifier for ‘settle the hell down now’. Instead of partaking in and adding to the nonsense and the noise, the cool kid was kind to the teacher and tried to help quell the commotion by setting an positive, kind example. Her classmates soon fell in line. Everyone wants to be like the cool kid.

My face must’ve beamed while I was told this tale, with one eye on the smiling Spanish teacher hanging onto the sill of the front passenger door, the other on this cool, kind kid with the confident gait who was walking toward me at the end of the third day of sixth grade.

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