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Green Clouds

September 17, 2009

Tomorrow is my last day as Miss Sarah, after-school YMCA teacher. I’m really going to miss it. Sure, the children have tested my patience. For example–you can’t make a 4th grader actually try when doing his homework, even if you call him a whiney baby. (From personal experience, I wouldn’t recommend that tactic.) And after watching a 1st grader do just about anything and everything to avoid listening to me read to her, including taking off her shoes and cleaning the sand out of them with meticulous scrutiny, I just had to laugh. Clearly, my efforts of “Abbie, pay attention, Abbie, sit still,” were falling on deaf ears if she’d rather clean out her shoes then listen to me read a book. And I do voices and everything.

But, still, children are really something.

Sam, the youngest and smallest of the group, just started kindergarten this year. He sometimes has a little trouble not crying in the mornings when his mom drops him off at school. But he shyly showed me a picture of his family that he now carries around in a little sandwich bag tucked into his bookbag. He said, “Miss Sarah, see? It helps me not miss my mommy and daddy so much while I’m at school.” Seriously? Melted my heart. All over the floor.

And, Abbie, despite her short attention span, is the first to rush to help anyone in need. She holds doors open for the group like a champ. And she’s always thinking outside the box. I was coloring with her the other day, and we decided to draw a Halloween picture. I reached for an orange crayon and asked her to draw a pumpkin. She got a mischievous little glint in her eyes and said, “Let’s color everything a DIFFERENT color then it’s supposed to be!” Pretty soon we had a beautiful Halloween picture: blue grass, brown flowers, red pumpkins, green clouds and four bright, yellow suns. Sure, the sun is yellow, but four of them! But sunshine is nice, so why not? What was I thinking, trying to force her little mind into the box of normality? Pretty soon I’m going to be starting classes at one of the most creative schools in the country! I think I need to take a hint from Abbie and start thinking outside the box more.

I got goodbye notes from them today, thanking me for being their teacher and saying they’ll miss me. So sweet. They’ve certainly helped me remember a few important things in life:

It’s okay to miss the people you love. New things are scary and it’s okay to cry, but don’t be sad for too long or you might miss out on something fun. Holding doors open for people makes them feel special. Be creative – clouds can be green if you want them to be. Sunshine is nice. You will never, ever, ever need to know the difference between a quadrangle and a rectangle in real life. Err…no name calling. And be sure to write thank you notes.

It’s nice to get friendly reminders of things like that every now and then.

abbie

alec

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