Thursday, December 18, 2008

Kiss of the bumblebee

I can't believe I never posted about this. I really have been so awful about blogging, it's not even funny. And have you noticed how I cheat with the dates? Because I don't want my blog to look like I post five things in one day (which is what I'm doing right now), so I tweak the dates. Tweak is a nice way to say I lie. I backdate the posts so I look like a much more diligent blogger than I really am, at least lately anyway.

Waaaaaaay back on Halloween, I spent the day trying to crush children's extreme levels of hyperactivity. My co-teacher, unbless her heart, decided to call out on one of the most stressful days to be a teacher to attend the parade celebrating the Phillies World Series win. This left me, with 27 students, attempting to teach on the day when, really, I'm just hoping the students don't burn the building down. I prayed to God several times that day to just get me past lunch time.

Here's the thing about Halloween: as stressful and exhausting as it is, it is one of my favorite days of the year, a day that I most love being a teacher. Why? Because of the Halloween parade. Because at 2:10, my students return from lunch, grab their costumes and dash to get changed. Two classes worth of girls cram into one classroom, the boys head to another and the madness begins. Some girls aren't bashful at all and in their excitement yank their outfits off and climb into their costumes. Others sheepishly hide themselves behind closet doors while I hold a coat up to block the view after swearing up and down that I won't look. There are feathers, wigs, makeup, stockings and 8 billion things that need to be tied. And the cameras. Someone is always taking a picture of someone who's all ready to go while a half-dressed 10 year old shouts that she had better not be in that shot!

From there, we head out for the parade. It never fails that I become teary eyed as I watch them walk the giant loop on display for all the parents with their cameras and camcorders lined up like paparazzi. Everyone is having so much fun, myself included. And for that little bit, they're not my students, they're just my kids. No schoolwork to do. No tests to prepare for. I love this day and wouldn't trade it for anything.

This year, I realized that a costume presented an interesting challenge. I had a very small collection of maternity wear and couldn't fit into most other stuff. What would I be? I'm one of a handful of teachers who dress up for Halloween and I was not planning on skipping it this year. So I settled on a black maternity shirt and black maternity pants. Now what? Hmmm.....I would be a road! The black would be the asphalt, masking tape would be the painted lines of the road (hence the Dollar Store theft incident) and I could use stickers for the rest. I found fire engines, construction vehicles, cars, trains, traffic signs, even little orange cones. I set to work with the road beginning at the neckline of my shirt and running all the way down to my feet. The stickers were attached. There was a full blown construction site (my husband even thought to "knock" over one of the orange cones because they're never all standing upright) and train tracks crossing over with the barrier coming down across the road. For a maternity costume, it wasn't too shabby.

Teachers with small children often bring in their own kids to walk in the parade with their class. Enter Anna, our 5th grade math teacher's kindergartener. She is adorable on a regular day, but as a bumblebee, her cuteness is unparalleled. I've only met her once or twice before and it was never for any really length of time, just a quick hello. As I leaned down to admire her costume and tell her how much I liked it, she reached for my belly and asked how the baby was. At only 13 weeks, she was one of the first to really touch my belly and acknowledge the baby in there. We chatted for a minute about how I didn't know if it was a boy or a girl and that, when I found out, I'd let her know. The whole time, she gently pet my belly, staring intently at it as though she might be able to see the baby if she looked hard enough. Then we had to separate to get to the parade.

At the very end of the day, I was walking down the hall, completely exhausted. Thanking God for a great day. Thanking God that I survived it. Thanking God for the weekend to recover from it. And who should turn the corner, but Anna the Bumblebee. Her mom and I said hello, wished each other a good weekend and continued on our paths.

Anna, however? She paused, walked over to me, ever so gently kissed my belly, looked intently up into my eyes and then rushed to catch up with her mommy. Me? I happily cried my eyes out.


Stephanie said...

Awww, that is such a sweet story! :) I am excited to see my cousins' children on Christmas eve, they are all so excited about the babies. Children really know how to make you smile! And your Halloween costume was a very clever idea!

Kelly said...

That is the sweetest story ever. I'm glad you shared it. :)