The first day back after Holiday Break can be difficult… for me, waking up at five a.m. is the hardest… after over a week of sleeping in till eight, sometimes nine o’clock, five a.m. comes like a slap in the face.  Even my poor dog, who gets to eat when we wake up, looked at me like I had ten heads this morning.

I fear, if I had been followed by a reality show camera crew (thank goodness, I would never submit myself to such shenanigans), they would have seen a grumbling, fumbling, sometimes mumbling man going through the motions to get ready for the day.  Well, after my entire school day, all I can say is this: I truly feel sorry for folks who don’t have the privilege of teaching kindergarten.  Here are some highlights from my day:

  • If I tried to count the number of hugs I received (one from, I swear, a kid I don’t know in the hallway) I’d run out of fingers, toes, and every other body part.  Hugs are magical and each one reminded me why teaching little ones is truly the best work I can do.
  • When I gave myself a nasty paper cut, the only Band-Aids we had in the room were some Dora the Explorer ones given as a gift to the class before the holiday… feeling man enough to wear a pink Dora bandage on my finger, I got a plethora of compliments on my ability to pull said Band-Aid off.
  • During Sharing, when Cynthia had the chance to share a gift or something special she did over break, instead she shouted, “I’m SO happy to be back at school!”  And she meant it.
  • Even though she’s not a kid, I could tell Mrs. D. was also really glad to see me and be back… it’s nice to have adults love you at work too.
  • When I read The Little Engine that Could and got to the ‘I think I can, I think I can…’ chanting part, with very little prodding, the entire class was reading along with me… we were going to cheer that little blue engine over the mountain no matter what!
  • Hugs.  Random hugs.  Jason, as he often does, sauntered over, giving me an ‘aw shucks’ look and just hugged me… randomly and all day long.  Awesome.

As I walked out tonight, I really thought, wow, there are folks that sit in a cubicle or office all day long (I know, because I used to be one) and don’t get to experience the pure joy and love of kindergarten.  Keep your fat bonuses and long lunches, just like Cynthia, I’m so happy to be back!