Thursday, May 16, 2013

Eighty-Six Degrees

The sun has been shining more lately.
Eighty-six degree weather.
Growing plant life.
People outdoors.
Fresh air.

It's been good for us here in kindergarten. These kids are like birds in a cage all winter long. Just waiting for the ice to melt. Just waiting to be set free. Well, at least for 15 minutes at recess.

Yesterday was another of those moments with my boys that I knew I would remember for the rest of my life. Nothing out of the ordinary. Just special because it was happening and I was aware enough to notice it. 

We were out at recess. Trenton was kicking off his sandals repeatedly with a sly grin on his face. He'd run up one slide and come careening down another. I snuck up behind him at the top and he giggled as we slid down together. Another kindergarten teacher said, "You are the perfect person for him."

The whistle blew so I took him by the hand and surprisingly he didn't fight me either. He was just content walking and holding my hand. All two-and-a-half feet of this little guy walking beside me. I scanned the area for Devon who is happily oblivious to the whistle. There he was--his blond head--sitting alone on the other side of the playground cross-legged with his chin in his hands, and staring at the dandelions. We walked toward him. Devon caught sight of a bird hopping through the grass and he chased it gleefully with a run that looks more like flailing than anything else as he uses one hand to hold up his too-big pants. He glanced at us when I called his name. With a smile and said, "Wook," took my hand, and led me to the dandelions that had so raptured his attention.

"Yes," I said, "flowers!"

"Fwoweys," he mimicked.

I took Devon's hand in my right and Trenton's in my left and we walked in the sunshine and the grass and the moment. Safe. Content. Calm. Good.

+ + + + + + + + + +

Today has been different. The sun is surely shining. But today it's more intense. Uncomfortable. Almost irritating. Trenton has a persistent cough that is not letting up as he shares his germs all over me. I cringe and seek cover anticipating my won cough in the morning. Devon's upset at nearly every direction I give him. He runs away when I ask him to do something. His hands like velcro, drawn and stuck to nearly every item we pass. I feel short-tempered and frustrated. I'm less inspired and reflective and more stuck and bothered.

But awareness isn't only valuable when all is well.
In fact, it may be most important when all is not well.

Because this awareness has granted me the opportunity to say:
-This afternoon can be different because I can change my attitude
-My boys bring their best with them to school everyday. This is their best.
-With six school days left, I'm going to smile and be grateful even if I don't feel it. 

A few years from now when I'm wondering what ever happened to these kids, I'll be glad that I did.


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