Childcare during the day is sparse. We don’t have a lot of stay at home moms in our group of friends – well, until now. Now, three of our friends are on mat leave. This big support and day time childcare means that today, for the first time, I was able to head into Kindergarten and lend a hand for literacy day.
I was only there a few minutes before I witnessed the magic. That magic of a teacher being able to connect with a rug full of 20+ children and lead them in guided breathing to calm and ‘smell the flowers’. A minute into this collective calm the teacher was able to lead the children in had me in awe at the focus she was able to create in this room full of five year old kids.
Another Mom and I helped to guide the literacy centers, where we worked on the popcorn word of the week, “come”. I guided the kids in filling in their booklets, coloring when they were finished and realized immediately just how difficult it was to keep a group of four five-year-old children, on task. I also learned that I cheer for the wrong hockey team, and that if someone at the table has a sore tummy, it’s instantly going to make its way to every other child.
After the morning was finished, Jamie sent me a quick text to check in. “How was kindergarten?” he asked. My reply was simple, three words. “I can’t even”.
Yawning, and eating early mother’s day chocolates. I thought about how lucky we are, as parents, to have these people caring for our children three hours a day. Teaching them the fundamentals that they don’t want to learn with us. Addressing them like there’s no one else in the room, causing every child to feel special and listened to. Keeping sane (without wine) and having the most patience that I’ve ever witnessed. Speaking with words and phrases that don’t come to my mind when dealing with the kids, and causing me to take a few mental notes while I was there in the classroom with the kids. Commanding respect from the children in the gentlest (and most effective) way possible.
Volunteering in Kindergarten is exhausting. I couldn’t imagine trying to wrangle that many kids, more than just one morning a week. Those teachers? They’re amazing.
You guys. Go hug one.