About a month ago, the kids' school had Field Day. Field Day is where there are a bunch of different stations and they have silly things to do at each station. One station, they loosen their shoe and see how far they can kick it, another station, they balance a bowl of water on their head and try to fill the bucket across the way... you get the idea.
This year's Field Day theme was The Amazing Race so each station was either a state or a country. (At one station, the man asked the kids, "Do you know what country this is?" and a boy yelled out, "The Suburbs!" How true!)
I got to hang out in the morning before I had to start work so I got to see D2's class play at Field Day. They all trooped out to the big field in single file and the last kid stopped at the edge of the field. I held out my hand and said, "Come on! Let's go play!" At first, he took my hand but then he looked up at me and pulled his hand back. D2 looked back to see; he and another boy came back and got the hesitant child. D2 looked at me and said, "This is E. He's never been on the field before - it scares him." D2 and the other boy (B) each took one of E's hands and coaxed him onto the field. That's when I got it (not the brightest bulb, I know) - E is a Special Needs child.
D2 and B slowly but surely got E over to the rest of the class. D2's teacher told me that D2 was always very nice to E and they usually hung out and played together with 2 other boys at recess. E's mom showed up and she was telling me how sweet D2 is to E and that at the end of the day, D2 always makes a special effort to come and say goodbye to E. She went on and on about how nice and patient D2 was with E. It was makin' me all misty!
Later, when E got a bit nervous (all the kids were all over the place and he seemed to get confused as to where to go), he found D2 and walked up behind him, putting his hand on D2's shoulder. D2 looked back at E and said, "It's OK, we're just going this way." and led E to the next station.
About a week after this, I came down from my break at work (the kids were already in bed) and Dave handed me a letter from school. It was from the Special Needs teacher. It asked us if we would be willing for D2 to participate in a group that taught social skills to Special Needs kids. The group would meet once a week and our child was chosen because his teacher said he would be good at it. Of course we said yes!
Dave handed me the envelope the letter it came in and D2's teacher had written on the outside:
To the parents of D2: If you wish D2 to participate, I know he would enjoy the group. He is so good with E and he too can benefit by interacting socially with this small group of 2nd graders. Thanks, Ms. M
Ok, so that totally made me cry! I'm such a dork! It's not like any of the kids are ever mean to E, but most of them don't play with him or anything. D2 and B always plays with him.
I was telling this to the women in my knitting group and Tina pointed out that when people talk about their kids, they say they want them to be doctors or lawyers and stuff but when it really comes down to it, what they really brag about... what's really important is that their children are kind and good. She's so right!
Proud of my kids, Ruth!