9

Out of the Mouths of Babes

For a little over a month now I’ve been volunteering in a reading program for kindergartners at our local primary school. 

Since my grandkids are in school pretty much full time now, and my daughter has either been working from home or at her new office digs during school hours, I found that after eight years “on the job” my services as child caregiver were no longer required. 

I knew all along that day was coming, but it arrived a little sooner than I’d bargained for, leaving me with feelings akin to being told by a supervisor to pick up my severance pay from human resources and it’s been nice working with you.

Even though I’m essentially a creative, “free spirit” (cough) Gemini, I’m still a creature who needs some structure in her life in order to feel grounded. 

To me, one of the worse things that can happen to an otherwise healthy person who’s retired is not having a reason to get up in the morning. 

I know too many people who have taken to tippling during the day (and night) after retirement because they don’t have someone or something that needs them; something that requires their attention on a regular basis. 

So my “something” has become five kindergartners, four days a week, in one-on-one reading sessions that usually last about twenty minutes each.  I have two girls and two boys on Mondays and Wednesdays, and one teeny, tiny little ESL (English as a second language) girl on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

If you want to maintain a young outlook on life, go no further than a bunch of kindergartners. 

They are a hoot.

Today, one of my boys was regaling me with a description of a picture he said he’d seen at the library of a horse giving birth.  (I’m thinking he must have seen it at the public library, not the school library which has books just for Pre-K through kindergarten.) 

Needless to say, it involved some very inventive thinking about horses’ butts and things that emerge from them. 

I don’t know who was getting more of an education—him or me.

But when it comes to inventive thinking, today’s prize has to go to my first little girl of the day.  She and the other girls came twirling into the reading room decked out in construction paper Indian headdresses and macaroni bead necklaces in honor of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.

As I admired her get-up I murmured something about how clever the necklace was, being made entirely of dried macaroni of various colors.

My little Pocahontas wanna-be laughed at my patent cluelessness and said:

“That’s not macaroni!  That’s dead food!”

I stand corrected.

Although, it could have been that the teacher had told them it was “dyed” food. 

And, more likely, it could have been, with my diminished hearing, that I misheard entirely what Pocahontas said. 

Either way, a good time was had by all.

I can’t wait to get up tomorrow morning to see what the day brings.