Jumpstart has never put as wide of a smile on my face as it did yesterday. I hadn’t seen my kids in over a month and I didn’t realize how much I missed them until I saw all of their shining smiles again. We got new reading groups but I kept my core three which couldn’t have been better because we jumped right back into our groove.
Every single time I get there and call their names to come read with me — they grumble and giggle — “not again!!” with mischievous grins. They quickly scamper over to our table and we begin to read as they sit on their name cards which are a secret so I can’t see them and take them!! Then we sat on the rug and sang, two of them sitting on my lap and one on either side because they truly couldn’t decide who got to sit there which is honestly the biggest compliment you can get from kids.
We started painting and it was the greatest joy to help them. To pull their hair back to avoid getting the paint on it, to hear them yell “Sam, can you tie my smock??”, and “can I please have some paint???” Though not always calm or one at a time, their little voices were harmonious and filled my heart with pure happiness.
My favorite part of the day was washing our hands after painting — making sure the water wasn’t too hot for them, or too cold. I watched as they tried to scrape the paint off but then they asked for help. Soon, I scooped their little hands in mine and scrubbed. They said it tickled a little and we all giggled as we got paint kind of everywhere. One of the girls who I haven’t gotten to get super close with got paint on her sweater dress and it was a little bit of a disaster. I quickly began to wash it off and her entire demeanor changed — she looked up at me with the biggest puppy dog eyes as if I grew twenty five feet all at once.
“How old are you?” she asked. And she leaned over and kissed me on the hair. So grateful that I could save her precious dress. She whispered, “what’s your favorite color? I want to make you a friendship bracelet to say thank you”!
We sat on the rug to sing one last time to say good bye. Almost all of them asked in unison if we would be leaving soon, when they found out the answer was yes, we were swarmed in massive hugs. So far this week of happiness is beyond splendid — there is so much beauty in the world, especially when you are seeking it and giving your all to it.