Have you ever taken a walk with a young person?
Each morning when I get to work early, I walk down to the bus circle and wait for one little boy's bus to arrive at school. On the good mornings, he walks off the bus grinning from ear-to-ear with the widest smile on his face just before jumping off the last step and taking my hand. Our walks used to feel much longer when I first started walking him to class two months ago. They felt like a struggle and one of the more difficult hurdles of the morning. This little boy would linger by the bushes, make a detour to an old tree, walk over a sewer grate, cut diagonally through the grass, and stomp around the painted floor map of the USA before I took his hand and marched him to the classroom. I was much too concerned with keeping up with the school's bell schedule that I was constantly rushing through the morning walk to get to class before the Pledge of Allegiance played on the intercom.
I came to learn that he paid very close attention to the details after working with him in the classroom setting for two months. It then dawned on me that I had been taking the morning walk too seriously from the perspective of a grown up. I had forgotten that the most special parts of life are all in the details somewhere between my youth and becoming an adult.
I noticed something new as I quietly observed him one day from the point-of-view of a child. The morning walk was a highly sensory stroll from the bus circle to class. When he would walk by the bushes, he would reach out and touch each individual dewy leaf, twig, and tiny branch. Sometimes he would pick up an entire spiderweb in order to feel the sticky texture on his finger tips. As we passed by the old oak tree, he would want to feel the bark and tap it with his hands a few times looking far up into the sky to see where the height of the tree reached. When we walked near the sewer, he would kick the grate a few times with his feet looking downward. He might have heard the sound of the running water far down the tunnel even though I could not. As we walked across the grass, he would look down, kicking the dried up mud with his feet while dragging his sneakers on the concrete. He would always laugh when we walked across the United States map and stand on Hawai'i. Then with a quick prompt, I would tell him to head on over to class and he would happily run up the ramp to the classroom. Now whenever I pick him up from the bus, I make sure that he reaches each one of his sensory points of interest.
I am constantly amazed by all the strides and improvements he has made over the last few weeks. I know that he can understand exactly what I am trying to communicate to him even though he can not reply to me using words. There are so many times that I am so unbelievably proud of my student that I become a doting teacher while sitting across him in wonder.
It is a sad idea to comprehend that we all might lose that childhood sense of charm and wonder that we once had as children. Some of us are in a rush to grow up and get older without coming to terms with the fact that it is inevitable. So keep drawing, reading comics, watching animated movies made for children, and remain a kid at heart. The world is a lot more magical when we get to use our imaginations.
CHEESE AND QUACKERS: A Drunk Duck Joke of the Day
Q: What does a dinosaur use to build a house?
A: A Dino-SAW!
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kawaiidaigakusei at 12:00AM, April 4, 2016
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