Monday, October 3, 2011

A reminder to have fun

Recently we had Dad's lunches at the Elementary School.  This is an opportunity for the dads to come eat lunch with their child(ren) and spend a little time with them at school.  I like it, because it kind of forces the dad out of the workplace and to come check out school during the day, not just during a practice or performance.  Of course I do have a different perspective since I work there, and am used to experiencing the daily tasks and routines.

I still went and had lunch with Caroline, and we had fun.

I was able to eat with her in the cafeteria on a day that she ordered her lunch (such a big girl), so she was able to show me the routine of getting in line to get the food, eating quietly and then socializing, cleaning up the mess and lining up.  Something that I did not know was the kitchen staff will prepare samples of fruits or vegetables that the children may not normally have to expose them to new things.  This is so COOL!  I was able to try spaghetti squash (so yummy).  All of the dads had to try some to be an example to the kids.  I embraced the opportunity, while some of the dads did not look so sure about themselves.

OK, I am hanging up on the boring stuff.

So after lunch we went back to the classroom for a few minutes to start a craft and (I am guessing here) to let the food settle before recess.  Did you catch that?  RECESS!  I was invited to go play with the class!  Not one to turn down a good romp around the playground, I followed that pretty, smiling face outside.  The second we were out of the doors, everyone took off running.  I had to sprint to keep up.  Soon I found myself clambering around the monkey bars, pushing kids on swings, lifting them up to the high bar and running races around the playground.  I was so lost in running with the herd (which kept me in the middle, not sure why :p), that when I finally did look up and catch a glimpse of the other dads that stayed for recess, I realized that either I was a hyper kinetic wound up individual, or these guys have forgotten how to have fun.  There they stood, gingerly pushing their kid on the swing or waiting by the slide for them to come down, all the while keeping an eye on their phone for the latest message or sport stat or something.  

But they were just standing there.  Idle.  Looking bored, not interested.

There I am with beads of sweat forming on my brow and am trying to catch my breath, 15 kindergartners surrounding me, laughing, squealing, calling for 'Caroline's dad' to run with them, lift them up, run with me.  Their joy, laughter, energy was contagious.  It fueled me, beckoning me to run faster, jump higher, smile wider.

And that's where the kids have it right.  Adults need to enjoy the moment, forget what else there is around you.


Have fun.  

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