Childhood Joy Outside My Classroom Window
Childhood joy is right outside my classroom window every day at 2:30 when P.M. Kindergarten let’s loose on the primary playground. Most days I tune out what’s going on so I can get work done, but some days I just sit for a few minutes to watch the Kindergartners -- also referred to as the puppies and the kittens -- make a run for whatever it is they want to do for the next twenty minutes. The expression of pure happiness on their faces is incredibly satisfying.
A small group of them go right to the slide. They climb the ladder, slide down the slide, and they do it over, and over, and over, and over again. They don’t seem to get bored or tired. Another gaggle of them is mostly interested in climbing to the tower of the jungle gym and stay there most of the time as if they’ve staked their claim. The majority, though, run around and play tag screaming at the highest pitch a five year old can scream. It’s a shrill likened unlike anything I’ve ever heard.
The patient, tired Kindergarten teacher watches them all, observing their socialization, sending a wounded warrior with a buddy to the nurse for a bandaid on a skinned knee. Soon she blows the whistle, and the adorable little critters find their way into line, each putting their pointer up to their lips with one hand and and the other arm in the air with five fingers stretched out, displaying the “Give me five” signal.
I remember those days. I remember childhood joy. And somewhere it’s still inside me, and I hope I never lose it.