This past Thursday and Friday, I went to the “farm” with the 1st and 2nd graders from our school. Over those two days, the four of us teachers relaxed, followed the kids around their various activities, and ate tons of delicious food, and the kids went crazy – they got to go see all the farm animals, make fun anis cookies, learn how to create simple salt dough magnets, scent and shape soap into hanging balls for the shower, have a giant sleepover and dance party, watch paper transformed into artistry by special water and oil paint patterns, make personalized folders, and generally have a blast despite the nearly non-stop rain.
Basically, it was a lot of fun. There was one moment though that will always stick out in my memory…
One of the 1st grade boys had been sick all week, but he didn’t want to miss out on all the fantastic fun, so he valiantly made the effort to come to the farm with all of his classmates. For the first part of the day, he held up pretty well, but by the afternoon he was looking exhausted. He refused to let the teacher call his mom though, because he didn’t want to leave. Finally, right before dinner, his monitor brought him to us teachers by the hand – he had given up all resistance and cried that he wanted to go home. The poor thing could hardly keep his eyes open and kept repeating that the monitors were mean because they wouldn’t let him sleep. And he had that deep throaty cough that you know means no good. It was pretty pitiful.
We laid him down on the couch in the teachers’ lounge and only just barely got some ibuprofen (the Spanish cure for just about everything it seems) into him before he conked out, his forehead all hot and feverish and his breathing heavy and labored.
A while later, we were hanging out in the lounge with our poor little sickling fast asleep, still waiting for his parents to show up in a blaze of headlights against the black of the night, when the director started to say that she hoped they hadn’t got lost in the dark along the nearly deserted dirt road leading out to the farm. She said something along the lines of, “We might end up having to go out and rescue them if they get stuck in the mud,” when all of a sudden we heard a tiny voice sleepily mumble out, “I brought my flashlight.”
Even in his half asleep fuzzy state of mind, our sad little patient was anxious to help in any way he could. I think my heart grew two sizes right there.