During the week I went to what is know as ‘Folk Dance in the Park’.
Basically it’s about a million-gagillion children between the ages of six and nine, all gathered together in one location with roughly one supervising teacher for every twenty or so kids.
It was a school thing and I promised my daughter I’d be there, so I got my five year old ready (yet another child to add to the chaos) and we showed up at the ‘park’ which was actually a field attached to one of the elementary schools.
I swear it was a scene straight out of Braveheart.
For half a second I honestly considered turning and running in terror, to later blame my lack of attendance on the flu that I had been fighting.
There were rugrats everywhere! A veritable sea of them!
They covered the ‘park’ from one end to the other.
After running a daycare in my other life, and knowing how intense so many children in one location can be…I have to admit I was almost frozen in terror.
After what seemed like half a second, I was dragged unwillingly back to reality by my five year old tugging on my hand impatiently. She seemed absolutely thrilled to see so many of her kind and no doubt sensed the happy possibility of a hostile takeover. After all…a million-gagillion children vs maybe fifty adults? (I may be exaggerating slightly but you get my drift).
Taking a fortifying breath, I hesitantly walked toward the masses and started circling the perimeter before realizing I would never find my child’s school in that mess.
I walked over to a pack of older children wearing official looking neon vests over their shirts (probably so that the rescue team could find them when they were hauled off by the younger ones) and they told me the general location of my daughter’s school.
I bravely resisted grabbing one of their vests as I left.
Looking around cautiously, I walked up to the edge with my little girl in tow and stood looking out over the sea.
I must have been standing there a while because suddenly there was a voice behind me.
“Just take a deep breath and go!”
Oh if only those children knew that every single adult there was as terrified as I was.
Realizing I must not show fear, I did as the strange man suggested.
Taking a deep breath, I plunged into the crowd and kept going until I saw a small sign in the grass with the name of my daughter’s school on it.
She saw me just as I reached her and threw her arms around me in a massive hug that ALMOST made the harrowing experience worthwhile.
I quickly sat down, giving up my ‘I’m taller than you’ advantage, and settled in to watch the merriment.
What happened at this dance thing was that the announcer would say what song was next, its country of origin, and its significance, and then the kids would get up with their teacher (if it was one they had learned at school) and dance in a group.
Each school had a square space roughly 30’ by 30’ allotted to them.
I believe there was something like thirteen schools in attendance.
After watching for a while, I have to say that my daughter’s teacher was MEANT to be a teacher of young children.
She got up and was dancing even more enthusiastically than the kids. It was truly heartwarming and inspiring to watch.
After about an hour of this ‘fun’, the kids slowly started rebelling, probably from exhaustion. I had been waiting in fear of that moment and tensed as the meltdowns ensued.
One kid would push another as they danced around in a circle. That kid would start whining and complaining. The first kid would get in trouble then drop to the ground in a heap, refusing to move, which made the other children fall over him like dominos.
It was hilarious!
For the most part the kids all had a great time, and the teacher seemed to really enjoy herself which made the kids enjoy it too. She was firm when she needed to be, but then danced around all goofy-like afterwards.
I know my daughter loves her, so she must be a wonderful teacher.
I have just got to say at this point that teachers are wonderfully brave beings.
Imagine dedicating your life to unending years of whining, tantrum-having, weepy children that NEVER outgrow that stage. They are just replaced year after year by more of the same.
I send a huge ‘THANK YOU’ out to all teachers for their strength and courage in battle. Not only the teachers of young kids, but the ones who bravely teach teenagers as well, because God knows those creatures are filled with insanity-inducing, making-a-mountain-out-of-a-mole-hill, freak-out-for-no-good-reason, hormones!
I also send a huge ‘THANK YOU’ out to Mme. Francois of Ecole Varennes for being such a wonderfully fun and amazing teacher. You may not realize the positive effect of your firm yet fun, goofy personality on those children, but their parents do. It was so wonderful to see you enjoying life and dancing along with them without a care in the world.
We really appreciate all you do!
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