A Moment’s Satisfaction

We had a long day with the kiddos today, but I had several moments in this day that were so utterly fulfilling, that the length of the day didn’t matter. It’s conference week at the school so we’ve got the kids for 5 hours instead of 2. Wowzers.

Even though there were some unpleasant moments at work yesterday, they were redeemed by the happy faces and compliments from my kids when they ate the Peanut Butter no bake cookies that I made. Riding on the back of that, today was filled with many fun moments.

Joyful moment #1: Successful conflict resolution between two girls who had a misunderstanding. All of those trainings and finally an opportunity to use them! I felt so proud when the girls were reconciled. It was a simple conflict, but being able to walk through this with them can build skills for future healthy relationships.

Joyful moment #2: Boys’ Club. Now, you may not know that one of my responsibilities at work for the year is to run small groups with the kids. I have a reading group one day, and then the other days are split between Boys Club and GEMs (Girls, Energized and Motivated!). The kids are further split by grade, 1 & 2, and 3-5. Today I had the 3rd-5th grade boys and we razed their garden before winter truly sets in. The boys had an awesome time destroying the plants, using the tools, and harvesting the last of the food. I love their enthusiasm, and the fact that they accepted me with my simple justification that I am a good staff person to lead their group because even though I am not a boy, my name could be a boy’s name.

Joyful Moment #3: Fixing a clogged sink. Now, I know that this probably isn’t the highest on most people’s joy meters, but it brought me joy. After the boys cleared out their garden plot, it suddenly started raining and we hurried inside. The boys tracked mud everywhere, but dutifully washed their hands in the sink before rejoining the rest of the group. Problem: they had so much dirt on them that it clogged a sink and I had to take it apart, poke the dirt out with a paint stirrer, and put it back together. This brings me joy because it’s solving a problem and making a situation better. It’s not something I’d ever had to do before, and I did it!

Joyful Moment #4: Pumpkin making time! I am incredibly excited this year that I basically get to plan and lead arts & crafts time. Today we made pom-pom pumpkins and paper pumpkins (and apples) a la Martha Stewart. Every year at Thanksgiving, my mother asks me to don my invisible “Martha” hat and prep the dining room for company. Well, this year I will miss Thanksgiving, but I will get to wear my Martha hat at work. I guess I’ll take the trade off. Anyway, this was the first major craft day, and the kids loved it. The 1st-5th graders, as well as the junior high helpers and staff really liked them, and many wanted to make multiples. This warms my heart because crafts bring me joy, and when others delight in things that bring me joy, I become even more joyful.

Joyful Moment #5: Asian themed potluck dinner with two lovely ladies. Intellectual conversation surrounding education, grad school, sociology, and issues that we’ve seen with students. I appreciate the company of these women so much, and especially on a Wednesday night that otherwise might seem so tiring. I got home and crashed on my bed for about 10 minutes before they arrived for dinner, which was so worth it.

Even though these half days at school are supposedly chaotic, I loved today, and hope that our adventure making sunflowers out of cardboard and newspaper tomorrow afternoon will be just as exciting.