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June 8, 2016 / sharoncopy

The Sweet Delight of Kindergartners

Keegan sat next to me on the steps in the gym. “I saw you when  you came into the office today,” he said. “There were 2 kids sitting at the table in the office playing cards – I was the one with the blond hair.” 🙂 I tried not to chuckle – and asked him if I could give him a hug instead.

Keegan was my special helper during P.E. today because he has a broken wrist and is not allowed to play. I asked him to count how many balls were on each side of the gym after a brief contest of “Cleaning Your Backyard” where each team throws them on the other side. I noted with amusement that he had to go and touch each ball in order to be able to count them. Such a “five-year-old” thing to do. 🙂

During the class after lunch, the maintenance man needed more time to mop the gym, and outdoors someone was mowing the lawn of the big field. Debating where to take the gym class, the teacher mentioned that her kindergartners had never played on the playground equipment next to the gym, as it was reserved for the older children, and her kids’ playground was around the other side of the school. She suggested that they would probably like the opportunity. And they did! They were SO happy – the slide is taller, the monkey bars are different – they swarmed here and there and thrilled to be able to be on the “big kids'” playground. Nothing was beyond their abilities – it’s just that the kids are kept separate during recess for safety’s sake (older kids are 5th grade).

Then a small special ed class came out and needed the equipment, so I took the kindergartners out into the now-finished field. It is such a delight to behold 5 and 6 year olds. It was a big soccer field with baseball diamonds in one corner, and they were just so very happy to have the opportunity to run and play as they wished. No equipment, not even a ball. They climbed on bleachers, picked flowers from next to-but not inside of-the woods, ran, cartwheeled, laid down, played tag, and just reveled in the chance to enjoy a gorgeous, gorgeous day in a whole big field. An adult such as myself might look at it and think, “I don’t want to walk all the way to the other side,” but to a Kindergartner – it was, “Let’s go to the other side!” How full of joy they were!

The next class, we went to the field but took along some balls for them to play with. It was a pretty easy day for me – sitting and watching them all, settling a few arguments, thanking God for the beautiful sky and weather.

From the first class I took out, it was only about 5 minutes before at least 5 of the wanted to go use the bathroom. So I called the office on the walkie-talkie and asked for advice, since I couldn’t take 5 in and leave 21 behind. One of the very nice secretaries came outside and ushered inside all who had such a need, after much going back and forth and changing of minds by about 4 others.

Last of all, the 5th graders played a rousing game of kickball, which I only needed to umpire. Their knowledge and ability and for the most part – cooperation – was also a joy to witness, as they were quite capable of taking all the matters into their own hands – as long as their was one adult to settle the minor disputes along the way.

Leaving the school (in Canton) today, I saw a couple who must be in their mid-70s – working as crossing guards – him on one side of the street, and her on the other. Perhaps they are a married couple doing this job together?

And as I shared the Keegan story with the office secretaries, one of them shared that last week one of the wee ones was heard to muse, “All my birthdays are in the summer.”

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