Of course, as it goes, my kids had to wait till the very last day of the semester to be their most attentive–all eyes forward, pin-drop silent, truly in tune with what was before them. And, of course, as it goes, it was not I who was on stage. Nope, I was upstaged. By Disney. For an hour and a half I was the forgotten star, cast aside for a story far more interesting than The Saga of the Sentence and the Phantom Phrases. Yep, a new kid was in town. Lilo and Stitch assumed center stage. And it’s tough to compete with a cute little girl who befriends a little blue alien. I didn’t even try. I’ve learned to acknowledge and accept when I’m whooped. I let Lilo and Stitch have the stage. I kinda had to anyway. I made a promise.
Weeks back, in a moment of weakness, I promised that at the end of the semester we could watch a movie just for fun. And though they seem to forget most of what I say, they certainly did not forget this, so I had to honor my word. We would watch a movie on the last day, possible because of the finals schedule, which created hour-and-a-half alternating periods over two days, perfect length for a Disney feature. Thus, stage then open for a movie, the kids selected Lilo and Stitch.
Of course, this decision was not completely made only in the interest of the kids; I had another motive. In the end they won fun, but I gained survival. I found time, time to climb the mountains of two days worth of finals. So, then, the stage was set. Fun for kids, time for teacher.
Settled in, we engaged in our separate activities. They watched. I graded. Well, for the most part. They did their part, but I deviated from the plan. I couldn’t help it. I got distracted, got lost. In a moment. In a visceral moment I got caught up in the “kid in the room,” a collective mass of enchanted minds lost in the wonder of fun, the peace of joy. I was struck. I was struck starkly with the reminder that for as much as we, as I, demand from them, they’re just kids after all. And as they move headlong into a world not always fun or joyful, we need to remember that and give them permission to just be kids.
Happy Friday, all. Thanks for the support. Can’t do it without you.