Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Today in First Grade

   I spent my Tuesday subbing in a local first grade classroom, and now, having cooked dinner and changed into yoga pants and a tank top, I have *just enough* energy left to share nine short stories. Thank goodness the animal chores and housework were super light today. It's funny how I can work all day at the farm and not feel this particular level of exhaustion, even on six mile running days. There is nothing quite like twenty-four seven year olds to sap the marrow from your bones. I mean, they're WONDERFUL and everything... But wow. 

   Okay. Nine little stories.

1.) A little boy in the hallway rushed up to me, examined me with curiosity, and said, "I like your hair. It's kind of... Yellow." He spoke these words with both conviction and authority. I wanted to say, "hey there buddy! According to L'oreal this is extra-light-ash-blonde! Not YELLOW." But that seemed excessive. So I let it slide. Yellow it is.

2.)  At 8:35 this morning, a certain little girl asked whether it was lunchtime yet. When lunchtime finally rolled around, she was asking when do we get to go home. Poor baby. I wanted to give her hugs and protein and a vitamin. Then bake her cookies. And more hugs.

3.)  I had recess duty today, and this adorable little boy showed me his black-with-red-swoosh Nikes, explaining they were cheetah shoes. I paid him the appropriate amount of awe and admiration, then he spent the rest of recess running fast to prove the cheetah moniker. 

4.)  Also at recess, a fragile little girl watching a cartwheel exhibition caught a tennis shoe to the face. She cried so I held her. She climbed up into my lap and whimpered if I stopped rocking. So we rocked and whispered until she very nearly fell asleep. I didn't want recess to ever end.

5.)  While holding my injured first grade angel, I noticed that at least half of the kids on the playground were playing a really aggressive and organized game of Zombies. By that, as surely you've already guessed, I mean that a bunch of kids were human and a bunch of kids were zombies. There was much chasing and fake (thank heavens) arm biting, and some incredible acting to indicate a change from human to zombie. I was impressed. Has the zombie craze gone too far? Who am I to judge?

6.)  Have you ever noticed that kids this age, at least some of them, need to be in physical contact with some other person at all times? 

7.)  Speaking of physical contact... At some point during the day, a couple of otherwise sweet and precious girls tried to give me a baby cricket. And I almost died. They couldn't possibly know this, but I have a deep and paralyzing fear of jumpy things like frogs and crickets. Also cows, but that's another story. NOT shrieking, fainting, or starting a fist fight with these two girls took more self control than I thought I had. So cheers to me. I came home and cuddled my buffalo for comfort.

8.)  Early in the day, I heard lots of "aww you're the best sub EVER, Mrs. Reed! Will you come back and see us tomorrow??" Then as the hours ground away at our souls, it was more like, "oh man, you're not gonna be here again tomorrow, ARE YOU... Mrs. Reed?" Ouch. And no.

9.)  Finally, to take the cake, my favorite heart warmer... A really cute little boy marched up to me with a crumpled sheet of paper and announced, "I'm gonna read this to you because I can read!!" Amen.

   So that was my Tuesday subbing first grade! I love the way these days widen my view of children, of people in general, and also how they bubble up my heart. I hope y'all had a great day too. I'm now curling up with a good book and some very, very hot salsa that SHOULD have won first prize at the state fair. See you on the flip side.

There are worse things than being yellow-headed.


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