One of the perks of being a Stay At Home Dad (SAHD) is the opportunity to volunteer in my son’s Kindergarten class. It gives me so much joy being in his classroom because, for once, I’m SOOOOO much better at math than everyone else. I’m borderline trash talking… “Look, when you add two apples to these four apples you get SIX apples! BOOM! Giddyup! How do you like me NOW, Billy!?” Hey, I’ll take the ego boost any way I can get it. Also makes me feel good that I have more teeth than everyone else too. Oh, their little smiles are like old fences with slats missing! I like to open my mouth really wide and show them my gold crowns, “Look, they only gave GOLD TEETH to the BEST boys and girls in my village when I was growing up!”
So, I do enjoy helping in the classroom. My glue and finger paint game is strong. But, as much as I am helping them, they are helping me. Sometimes I show up frazzled and stressed after getting my four kids out the door and feeding the dogs, cats, and horses. Fifteen minutes before arriving at school I was yelling, “Hurry up! We’re late! And, stop touching your sister!!” But, something always happens in Kindergarten that warms my heart and makes me realize that these. are. the. good. old. days.
Like, for example, one day in October I needed to walk a little girl named Emanuella to the school office. We started walking side-by-side thru the outdoor courtyard talking about Halloween costumes (she was going to be Ariel from “Little Mermaid”). Then, as we were strolling along, I felt her little warm hand reach up to hold mine. Talking for 30 seconds and we are already best friends walking hand-in-hand! Pure joy.
And then, there is little William who is probably the smallest nugget in class (I have books that weigh more than him) and he likes to pretend to “smash me” with playful little shoulder shoves. He giggles when I pretend that he just hit me with a full body hockey check against the boards. Then one day when I was helping all the kids line up for a class assembly, little William jumped out of line and started tickling me! I worked in corporate America for 30+ years and NO ONE ever tickled me on the job! Pure joy.
Sometimes I get a random hug. Just for showing up. Pure joy.
I smile inside when they say my name….
“Mr. McEvilly, can you help me?”
“Mr. McEvilly, can you tie my shoe?”
“Mr. McEvilly, look at my drawing!”
“Mr. McEvilly, my Mom just turned 45!” Okay, wow. Not sure she wanted everyone to know that, but still, Happy Birthday!
So, yes, I’m savoring Kindergarten because I’ve offered to volunteer in my 14 year old daughter’s High School class and she’s like…“OMG Dad! Never ever ever ever say that again! That was hideous!”
Ahhh, okay… back to Kindergarten! Who needs a hug!!??