Saturday, April 6, 2013

Hoola Hooping

Last week, walking down the hallway at the school where I work, a kindergartener's poem caught my eye.
"I had a dream that
I went to Barack Obama
house for supper."


"I like tnkrbell
I like tnkrbell."

Working with little kids is new to me.
They are little creatures I will never quite understand.

These kiddos are all narcissistic by nature. 

The only world they know is their own. Empathy and consideration are not quite developed yet. So you can be hoola-hooping with two girls during P.E. and this conversation will happen:
Abby: "Ms. Bo, you are hoola-hooping beautifully!"
Me: "Why thank you, Abby."
Candice: "My mom loves my dad. But not enough to marry him."
Me: "Oh."

These kiddos just want some validation.

Like Eli.
Eli: "Ms. Bo, umm...did you watch the news last night?"
Me: "No, I didn't."
He walks away.
He comes back a few seconds later with his hands in his pockets, scuffing his foot.
Me: "Eli, was there something interesting on the news last night?"
Eli: "Well....yeah, I mean. I was on the news, I just thought you would've seen it."
Me: "Oh, I'm so sorry. If I'd have known you were going to be on TV, I would've watched."
Eli: "Really?"
Me: "Oh course! Are you kidding me? What were you on the news for?"
Eli: "Oh, it was nothing..."
He walks away.

These kiddos have a lot of questions.

Exhibit A: Drake.
Drake: "Ms. Bo, what's your real name?"
Me: "Do you mean like what is 'Bo' short for?"
Drake: "Well, I know Bo is your first name, but what's your real name?"
Me: "My first name is Heather and my last name is Bohlender."
Drake: "Are you married? Do you have kids?"
Me: "Yes, I'm married, his name is Jeremy. But no, we don't have kids."
Drake looks philosophically at the ceiling: "Jeremy Bohlender..."
Me: "Nope, Jeremy has a different last name. I kept me name when we got married."
Drake: "You can do that?"
Me: "You couldn't always do that, but thanks to feminism I can. Now women can make decisions that are best for themselves."
Drake: "What is a feminist?"
Me: "Someone who believes that women are people too."
Drake: "Well, I believe you are a person. So I must be a feminist....(long pause) Ms. Bo, when I get married, can I change my name?"
Me: "You can do whatever you want."

These kiddos are funny.

Zach: "I was in New York last week and it got hot. So we went to the beach. I tripped and fell and scratched up my knee. Look, I have a scarf."
Me: "I think you mean 'scar.' "
Zach: " I know exactly what I meant. You weren't there!"

So, essentially, they are just like us. And if there was one lesson I've learned from these kiddos about what makes them seem so different from grown-ups, it's this:
life is much more fun when kids are around.

They remind us that life need not be constantly stream-lined, logical, or sophisticated.

There doesn't have to be a logical explanation for tears. Ya know, who doesn't want another corn dog, sometimes?

Why shouldn't we talk about losing teeth, snow men, and puppies all in one conversation?

And now and then, hoola-hooping is the greatest remedy for the soul.