so today . . . i got the pictures out of my camera from the picnic yesterday. i got some very cute images of some of the kids. so this is going to be a photo-intensive blog.
there is not room on this blog to detail all that happened. start by imagining walking about a mile with thirty 4 and 5 year olds--all carrying their own lunches and holding hands with whoever picked them as a partner, even though they wanted to be someone else's partner. imagine trying to get them all across the street, in the crosswalk, before the light changes. imagine how high a child can jump when the dogs in the yard they are going past suddenly bark really really loudly. imagine dropped lunch boxes, floppy shoelaces, and the threat of rain. that's how the day began . . .
when we got to the park, the lunches and coats were quickly abandoned, while every child started yelling and running--to nowhere in particular, but just because they could. they were so glad to be outside!! the church where our school meets is currently undergoing some construction, so we have not been able to play outside since christmas. it sort of had the desperate feel of inmates suddenly escaping . . .
there were five teachers to corral this bunch. it quickly became clear that we needed to spread out. i chose the top of the hill. this park has a big hill with a large flat area at the top, but all the play equipment is at the bottom of the hill. however, the kids love to climb to the top of the hill and then either roll down or run out of control to the bottom. the only problem with that is, if they decide to keep going instead of coming back down, they are quickly out of our sight. so my job was to make sure we didn't lose anyone off the back of the hill.
so i am standing at the top of this big hill surrounded by a large open field. i am all alone, because so far, the kids are doing what they are supposed to be doing and not coming up too far. pretty soon i hear this little voice, "ms. julie! ms. julie!" i look around and see joshua at the bottom of the hill. "what!" i yell back. "be careful up there," he says. i'm thinking, careful of what? there's nobody up here. i am blissfully alone. and then he says, "there's a storm coming! the lightening might get you!" it was kind of a stormy day today. in fact, on the way over i had heard, "it's raining, it's raining!" which it wasn't. but whenever a few drops of moisture fall from the sky, our california kids think it is raining. in their defense, the sky was pretty dark.
so i make a plan for what to do if lightening strikes--or if i think it is going to strike. and then i start thinking about lightening, and why God made it so that the lightening strikes first and then the thunder comes. because as i am standing in that big empty field, i am thinking, "how am i going to know if lightening is about to strike so that i can put my plan into effect?" (maybe i should mention that my plan is pretty much to throw myself onto the ground and be as flat as i can be . . . ) and i think, "i'll bet far less people would get struck by lightening if the thunder came first, as a warning, and THEN the lightening would strike." but you know, hindsight is always 20/20. if only God had had the benefit of my thoughts when He was doing all that creating . . .
as it turns out, there is no lightening, no thunder, no rain--just a bunch of clouds. i am pretty happy up there on that hill, though. for a while. and then i start looking at my watch. and thinking about my sandwich. and wishing it would rain so we could go back . . . ok, well maybe not real, oregon rain, but the kind that will force us to pack up and leave. because i'm getting kind of tired of standing on that hill, all by myself. and then megan runs up to me, yelling, "ms. joolie! ms. joolie!" (she pronounces that "oo" sound like in the word book, not like the "oo" in the word pool--hmmm, book, pool, am i thinking about summer yet?!?) she comes racing up the hill toward me with weed flowers in her hand. she looks ecstatic, and i think, "i wish i had my camera! oh wait--i do have my camera!" so i pull it out, and she stops and poses! not exactly what i was hoping for, but i take the picture anyway.now that i have my camera, i am not watching the clock anymore--although i am still thinking about my sandwich, and before too long i creep down the hill, sneak my sandwich back up the hill and put it in my camera bag--since my camera is now in my hand. this enables me to successfully sneak eating my sandwich before lunch time. hehehe . . .
some of the girls were really into picking weed flowers. it held their attention long after i had lost interest--even with my camera!even one of the boys got into the act . . .then, there were the silly faces . . .and even some cute ones . . .and i want to leave you with a couple of pictures of joshua being silly. what will i do next year without him?!?so the kids had a fun day, the teachers survived, and lightening did not strike. not even once.