Thursday, May 8, 2008

Field Trip

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...)


Jessica said...

I'm just about to cry for that little boy! I'm glad you were there with him to hug him and be with him in that sadness. I can't imagine what that's like for a child.

I'm glad they had a good time - I love watching kids explore new stuff and get excited. Fun times.

Katie R. said...

I know. The little boy was a having such a hard time. I'm glad I was with him. Not that somebody else would not have been able to hug him and hold him but, I'm glad I could do it.

Without telling Isaiah too much I plan on speaking to him about the little guy and maybe Isaiah can be a help for him as well.

I'm sure God planned out the group assignments the way He did so hopefully Isaiah and I can help him somehow. I just wish hugs took all the hurt away.

Also, Isaiah goes to a public school and I have a hard time talking about hurts without talking about how God can help. His school is super, it's just hard to say the Right things w/out being told you're saying the wrong thing. You know?

The boy seemed really excited about all the critters we have at our place so, who knows, maybe there will be more friendship opportunities Isaiah can make through the animals and we can help the boy that way too?

Birdie said...

what a fun and rewarding day. He only has three people in his class??
I missed it somehow that you were a teacher? What grade did you teach?
My preschool director works with me everyday and she has a very hands off approach to the kids that I don't care for at all. If I do smooth over their hurts, she's immediately saying Oh, you're okay, now go on..." etc. That bugs me. My other school I was always in the floor with them and playing and we were a very warm & tight nit group. This class I never get to hold them in my lap like Jesus did. She's all about them being at "school" and being independent *sigh* I'm glad you were able to help him and that you got to enjoy that special time with Isaiah.

Katie R. said...

Birdie, Isaiah has 23 students in his class. I was responsible for four of them. :) His teacher let the chaperones go off in their own groups throughout the park during the day.

I can't help but hug little people and call them by pet names like honey, buddy, sweetie, etc. I'm surprised my own children even know their names. They all just need hugs. The two girls in our group held my hands throughout the whole trip. It was especially helpful when we overlooked the lions. They creep me out w/ their size.

I've taught preschool, infants and elementary schoolers who were "kicked out"/removed from regular school for various reasons. I didn't teach long as we were married soon after college and had Isaiah 13 mon. after we were married. I miss it sometimes.