Monday, June 8, 2009

Tears and fears.

Imagine having the first day of school every single week. That's what every Monday is like at Dunwoody Nature Center. It's the first day of a week-long camp, which means new teachers, new campers, new parents, and the whole "where do I go what do I do is my mom/dad gonna come back" angst.

There's always at least one tiny camper who most definitely does NOT think this is a good idea. This morning it was a little guy, nearly 4, who was not happy one bit about Dad leaving him behind. Scrunched face, big fat tears, and gulping sobs followed Dad out the door. (I think Dad wanted to cry, too, but he took a deep breath and kept going - good for you, Dad!) I sat Little Guy down on a bench and asked him to show me his hand.

"See these five fingers?" Sniffle.

"One, you're going to make something cool. Two, you'll play a game. Three, you'll have a snack. Four, you'll play in the creek and get all wet and messy. Five, Dad will come back!"

Little Guy stared at his hand, then at me.

"See? One, make something. Two, play. Three, snack - did you bring a snack?" Definite head nod this time and quickly drying tears. "Four, play in the creek. Do like to get wet?" Small smile this time. "Five, time to go home."

Little Guy studied his hand a bit, then nodded solemnly.

"It's time for one. Ready to make something?"

Little Guy hopped up and got to work. When I saw him later in the morning, covered in sand and carrying a rock he'd found in the creek, he was all smiles.

I love my job.

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