Thursday, May 8, 2008
Yesterday Isaiah's class went on an all-day field trip to the zoo. I was one of four parents randomly picked to go along as a chaperone. Yeah! I didn't want to be home all day wondering if all was well. Now that we've moved, going to the zoo is a much longer trip and I just felt better knowing I could go along with my boy. We had a super day and I was happy to spend the time with Isaiah and three other children in his class.
The zoo we went to has a beautiful conservatory next-door that we were also able to go visit and explore. At first the kiddos were ready to just run but after a few stops we were able to take turns reading some labels on the plants and finding out some neat information about some really odd looking varieties. It was fun to see how excited they got about learning something new. It's times like this I really miss being a teacher.
We were even chosen by one of the Japanese Garden volunteers to see the authentic Tea House. We couldn't go in as the tea master wasn't there that day but, we saw pictures and we could peak. I think that was neat that just our group was asked into the special area that's normally blocked off. The other groups went to see the animals first and my group opted to see the neat flowers and plants first. We were the only children's group in the Garden at the time.
One child started crying at the Tea House, however, he was visibly sad and upset. I left him be for just a minute to sort of assess the situation and figure out if he was upset about something regarding the other children or if it was a serious dilemma. I asked him if he was hurt or angry and he was not. I asked if he was sad, he nodded. Are you sad about somebody here? He wasn't. He was sad his dad was unable to be a volunteer. I thought maybe because he was working. No, this little guy's dad had passed away and he was really crying big tears at this point. While the three other children listened to the garden volunteer I held the little boy for a few minutes and talked him through his sadness. I felt so bad for him. We both cheered up a bit and continued on our adventures. The kids sort of asked what was wrong but I re-routed the conversation and the garden volunteer was so very kind and gave this little guy an extra job to do to cheer him up. She didn't even know why this little boy was sad but she helped him anyway and it helped get him through the moment.
Later, I spoke to Isaiah's teacher and she confirmed the little boy's story and filled me in, briefly, on why he's been more sensitive lately. There will be some family changes soon and he's sort of having a hard time. Poor guy. I remember when I was teaching children there were always a few I wanted to just take home and hug. Life just isn't fair and it's hard to watch it not be fair on kids.
I was so happy to have been allowed the time to spend with my boy and get to know some children with whom he spends his days. It's hard moving to a new place, not knowing any families and their children. It's nice to know that when my boy comes home and mentions some names I'll really know who he's speaking about. We had fun and it was a beautiful day to spend outside. (despite the horrible allergens that are flying around..sniff...)