Last night I had the opportunity to spend the evening locked in my old grade school with my nephew along with his Kindergarten class and the third grade class along with the teachers and helpers and parents. The theme for the evening was Farm Follies, or as I affectionately labeled it before the evening began, Hell.
Keep in mind, I’m a single girl with no children. I’ve always helped with Bible School with the stipulation that I didn’t have to be around the kids all night. I don’t hate kids. I love kids. But you get more than ten together screaming and running around, I get anxiety. There’s so much going on that I don’t know what to focus on, so I just shut down. Give me a kid one-on-one, they’ll be treated like royalty.
But when my sister said that she couldn’t get off work and asked me if I would consider staying with my nephew, I couldn’t say no. I’m especially a sucker when my niece or nephews are involved. Seriously, could you say no to these beautiful brown eyes?
Yeah. Me either.
It was my job for the evening to take pictures of the evening and just get shots of all the kids and all the fun they were having. This is something I’m good at. I can stand at a distance and chronicle the festivities and send the kids home with something awesome. I went to the event expecting one thing and came away with something completely different than what I had been looking for.
The kids had a blast. My nephew woke up and the first thing out of his mouth was, “I have got to do this again next year.” Love.
My aunt just happens to be the kindergarten teacher, and in my opinion one of the if not the best around. I may be a little biased. I didn’t really know what to expect when I showed up that evening. I got a chance to talk to my aunt a little bit after things slowed down a little bit. I asked her why she did this. I mean, seriously, there aren’t too many teachers around willing to spending the evening with their school kids. She just looked at me and said, and I’m paraphrasing, These kids will remember this forever. You should just see their faces. That makes it worth it.
And she was right.
As I watched the events of the evening progress, I saw daughters learning to square dance with their dads. I saw kids that hadn’t ever ridden a horse, fall in love with the beautiful animals for the first time. I saw little boys climbing all over huge tractors and loving every minute. And I saw kids that don’t get much love at home be loved on and celebrated all night.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the Farm Follies. I loved watching the kids run around and play and not have a care in the world except wondering what their teachers had in store for them next.
What I enjoyed most was being able to watch my aunt do what she does best: Give. She gave up an evening (which just happened to be her 33rd anniversary). She and the other organizer involved gave up a lot of their time to plan this event. And I got to see her love on all these kids (33 of them to be exact) and watch them just glow with all the attention.
It’s awesome to see people step up and treat people with kindness and love. For some of these kids, school may be the only time they get that kind of attention. It’s circumstances like these that make me thankful for my family. I was a lucky kid. My parents both loved me and were involved in my life. I have extended family that I could always go to if I needed something and I felt/feel like they would/will always steer me in the direction that they think is best for me. They may tell me something I don’t like, but it’s probably something I need to hear.
So while I spent the evening trying to fall asleep on a concrete floor in a freezing room with over 30 other people, which is usually one of my worst nightmares, it made me thankful for a few things.
I’m thankful I got to see my nephew have a ball with his friends.
I’m thankful that I got to see my aunt doing what she loves and doing it well.
I’m thankful for the people in my life that have influenced me over the years, and I’m thankful that they continue to do so.
And last but definitely not least, I’m so thankful for my comfy bed.