1.13.2015

The Eyes of Children

I threw another temper tantrum, I did. It was January 5th, and it was cold, and the air was bad, and it was still dark outside, and Joe was leaving to Florida for a week that day, and I had to go back to school after almost a month of not going to school.

"But you're so excited to see your kids, Lara!" said Joe.
"I am... so yeah, maybe I can go back.... but wait-" and I was back throwing a temper tantrum a bit.

A lot of crying while eating Honey Bunches of Oats and wondering how I was going to do this. How was I going to go back after being gone a month and teach a bunch of kiddies? What was the math lesson even about, fractions?! I had to teach fractions?! And simple machines were coming up and I just was so overwhelmed.

I dragged my feet over the bridge through the air that was so thick with gloom and pollution and my own doom cloud that it could be almost chewed. I didn't want to go back to school.

By the end of the day, there'd been one five minute time out with heads down on desks, and I had reestablished my authority with the kiddies. An hour of planning in the afternoon, and home before 6:30. I could do this.

And since then, it's been a lot of that.

A lot of pollution.
A lot of running between the teacher's lounge and the place where I pick them up for recess. If you've seen my school, you'd know it's a long run. This school is the size of a medium mansion.
A lot of "Yes, you have to do your cursive practice" and "Yes, we are going to be doing science next, and yes, it is REAL science, and YES you WILL like it, even though it is real science."

Though I miss the sunshine, and I miss clean air, and I miss seeing my home in the daylight hours and I missed my husband for that week, I've felt really good about what I'm doing, and I feel like I can do another 50 days of it.

Today we were in music, with a room full of instruments, from xylophones to ukuleles... one for each student. We were watching Charlie Chaplin silent films, something which was totally new and unheard of for these little ones. We were making our own "score" for this movie, and having a lot of fun. Me? I was on a set of hand bells on the edge of the classroom, so I was out of the way and the children could learn on their own.

I was intently focused on ol' Charlie. I had to hit the bells exactly right. And it was SO FUNNY the way the lion was asleep and then it woke up and I roared with laughter along with my students, when I decided to stop and put the bells down, and stop watching Charlie and start watching my kids.

And tears came to my eyes, watching these young humans experience a new kind of life for the first time, with music in their hands and laughter on their lips, and their eyes full of excitement. They had no idea they were learning, and they had no idea I was watching them. It was magical and amazing to watch them, I felt like I was experiencing this life for the first time as well. And suddenly I got it. I don't know what I got, but it was it. It was a thing a lot of people get, most people get, at some point or another, and I got it. It's something I'm not going to let go. While life is beautiful to watch it through my own eyes, there is something special about stopping to watch it through the eyes of a child for a while.

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