I volunteered in W's class the other day. 4th grade.
It's been a long time since I volunteered in his class. I did it in Kindergarten, and it was a wonderful way to be introduced to his new world and his new school. It made me feel connected to this new world, and to him. I knew the kids in his class, his friends, the way his teacher ran the classroom. It was invaluable to me as his mom. Then his sister started school and I did the same for her. Because I was also working and had a child who was in preschool 3 mornings a week, I didn't have the luxury of doing both. Now I have three in the school and I'm back to volunteering in the Kindergarten classroom, this time for T. At back-to-school night this year, it hit me -- W's elementary career is almost over. Feeling the need to maintain my connection, I signed up to volunteer.
Friday was the first day I've done so. It was an interesting experience.
Interesting because it was such a juxtaposition from the chaos of Kindergarten. The independence, the genuine interest, the collaboration among the students -- wow. My son, in his classroom, was not the little son I remember from his first classroom. The difference a little maturity makes.
Speaking of maturity, I was not entirely prepared for all the maturity I witnessed.
It's true. Girls DO mature faster than boys. And not just emotionally.
I guess, since my only experience with pre-puberty is actually going through it and being way behind, I was shocked at these girls. And the difference between them and the boys...like night and day.
It's like a garden. The boys are skinny and gawky. Their clothes are either too big (to accommodate all the growing), too small (a victim of all the growing), or a combination of both (I hear their mothers' collective exasperated sighs at trying to keep them clothed appropriately). Weeds. Weeds that are just started to take over the garden but aren't quite there yet. The girls are (obviously, and so cliche I know) the flowers, and it's an early spring. If you get what I mean.
It made me glad my 4th grader is a boy. And I like that he's a weed. Because I'm not ready for flowers yet. It's too early for them anyway.
Besides, weeds are all that grows in my garden anyway.
And I think I'll keep it that way a while.