Friday, August 13, 2010

A Friend Forever

To an adult it might look like a pile of grass growing in a sandbox....but to this five year old, it was a world of bugs. 

It started a on Thursday when we went out to play for the first time.  It was hot, but the kiddos needed to get out and run!  I am talking to another teacher and then this little guy runs up to me jumping up and down all excited.  I bend down and ask him what's up...he is so excited that his eyes are twinkling and he has a smile on his face that is contagious.  "Mrs. B....I found a cricket!" He says in his little kid voice. "That's great!" I say, and off her runs back to his bug hunt. 

I look over a few minutes later and I see him bent over and pointing to something. He then turns to the boy next to him and shares his excitement.  At this point, I am very curious.  What has this kiddo so excited?  It's just a bug!!!  I go over and see his "cricket".....which actually turns out to be a grasshopper.  He points to it and I see it....attached to a single blade of grass.....minding it's own business.....then it jumps away.  At this time, we must go inside. And my kiddo must save his bug hunt for another day.

We go outside again today and I notice that this kiddo runs right to the same spot he was yesterday. The hunt continues....this time....he is more invested in the hunt this time.....looking more intently for these bugs.  I see him bend over and then slowly move the grass around.  He then carefully moves around the grass and then runs over to me.  Once again he is all excited about his bug hunt.  He eyes the plastic sandwich bag I have in my hands and asks me if he can use it.  "Sure," I say and off he runs. 

A few minutes later I look over and see something truly amazing.  In this horrific playground that truly should be condemned, this kiddo has found a world of wonder.  I see that his attention is focused on a butterfly that he is trying to make his friend. He slowly tries to catch it with his bag and then a stick.  He does this with such expertise! He then tries to sneak up behind the butterfly and catch it with his finger....needless to say, the butterfly got away.  

When we lined up to go inside he runs up to me and shows me his bag.  He caught a grasshopper and is excited!  I asked if we could let it go back to his home, and he said no. So I decided to let the kiddo bring the grasshopper into the classroom.  I ask the teacher across the hall for her Preying Mathis holder and we put the grasshopper inside.  I turn around and the container is sitting on his desk and he is proudly looking at his catch.  

At the end of the day I tell the kiddo that he needs to let the grasshopper go back to his home.  He is a little sad, but understands.  He goes outside and let's it free.  When he comes in he tells me that the grasshopper did not want to go home, but wanted to jump back into the container.  

It always seems to amaze me that kids can find wonder in things that are gross.  Our playground is awful, but yet this little man found a world of bugs and intrigue. While hunting for these bugs, he shut the outside world off, and was totally engrossed in his own world.  He made this area his own and didn't see the harshness of the environment.  He truly felt that this grasshopper was his friend.  I will always remember the sight of him going on his bug was truly amazing.

A three year old child is a being who gets almost as much fun out of a fifty-six dollar set of swings as it does out of finding a small green worm. ~Bill Vaughan

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