“This day couldn’t get any better could it?” asks 8 year old Paula, as we walked barefoot in the rain in the woods in October. Then she says “or could it?” Just then I hiked up my skirt, and said “let’s run!” She let out a gleeful squeal, igniting my inner child and we splashed through the puddles in our bare feet. There was something about following her lead, and playing like a child that tickled my heart and soul.
I am reminded, whenever I am in the woods with a child, how powerful my role is, and how influential I am, even to a a child I barely know. This day could possibly change her life. Just when she thought the day couldn’t get any better, we went upstairs to wash our feet off in the tub. We both sat on the side, and she waited anxiously while I turned on the tap. The perfect thing happened. The over-head shower sprayed all over our heads, and we both squealed like little girls. “This day totally just got better.” She said, and sat down with all her clothes on in the tub to get the last bits of dirt off the backs of her legs.
It was a real joy to connect with Paula, of whom I had only known for a day. Children are a blessing. Even when they are the children who can’t sit still, they are always getting in trouble from the teacher, and won’t pay attention. My heart goes out to those children because, I believe that the system of schooling needs to change. Children like this are just nature creatures. We shouldn’t condemn them for their energy, high level thinking, creativity and optimism. What can we do in our schools to change this circumstance?