On Friday I went to Maggie's first grade class to help with their day-after-Halloween party. It was my first time meeting the kids that she teaches every day.
I have heard some stories about these little darlings.
They were at recess when I arrived and so I met Doris who the kids call Grandma. She is 74 years old and comes every day to help in the classroom. She does not get paid. When she found out I was Maggie's mom she said, "Oh that girl of yours is so kind to these kids. I tell her to be tougher and yell at them but she hardly ever does that. Just talks to them real nice."
Shortly after that I met the kids. Maggie said to them, "We have a special guest today. This is my mom and she's come to help with our party. Her name is Mrs. Fisher."
And one little voice said, "Wait. What? Your name used to be Miss Fisher. How come she has your old name?"
I met and talked to all of them. One little girl told me I was pretty and another told me I was awesome for the simple fact that I hot glued googly eyes on mini pumpkins which they were convinced were fake because they'd never seen pumpkins that small before.
A first grader is very good for the soul.
They worked on a Frankenstein math sheet and one-by-one left to put their costumes on. Many forgot their costumes which led to some tears, and so the pieces of the costume Maggie was going to wear got doled out to the kids. All the while they were waiting for their turn inside the haunted house upstairs. Some kids were sure they didn't want to go into the haunted house, but the Ninja and Superman seemed prepared and ready to battle spookiness.
The haunted house proved to be too haunted by the reaction of the older kids and so the 1st grade and kindergarten could not go. The disappointment lasted for a long time. There was whining and complaining and begging to their teacher and she would put her arm around every kid and say, "Hon, I know. I'm sorry but we can't go."
Superman was so dejected he put his teary-eyed face down and wandered aimlessly around the room in his red cape - a superhero stripped of the only job he had looked forward to all day.
The kids went to the Halloween parade and then came back to juice and cupcakes, a pumpkin craft and bags of candy and the party was a success even without the feared or anticipated haunted house.
When the day ended the walkers left and the bus riders lined up, waiting to be dismissed by bus number via speaker from the main office. While they were standing in their fidgety line their teacher went through the alphabet with them in sign language. One of the boys came up to me and said, "Mrs. Fisher, I've been to five haunted houses. FIVE! I'm only seven, you know, so I'm kinda an expert on haunted houses."
The bus riders were let go and were high-fived and hugged out the door.
Ninjas and Superheroes, Tinkerbells and Princesses.............all to return on Monday morning for another week of 1st grade with the girl I raised who is now raising up her "hons."