Surprise! I’m stringing together a bunch of random jobs this summer to pay the bills.
This has really always been the norm for me as I’ve always been able to work summer basketball camps in the hot months and enjoy some beach days in between. Well, that was until we got an apartment. Now I have to do what NORMAL adults do and actually work during the day in the summer.
Boo-hoo, I know.
The first part-time summer job I acquired a couple weeks ago, it involves tutoring a ten year-old boy and, occasionally, his eight year-old brother in reading and writing. Luckily, the older boy is into sports (and so is his father who hired me) and we get to enjoy shooting some hoops together as well.
It’s been awhile since I’ve worked with young kids in a school setting. I’ve taught adults, high school kids, and, most recently, college-age students but the last time I was in a fourth grade classroom was over a year ago when I subbed in Waterville for a day.
If you don’t already know, kids are funny. They say things that surprise you and, often times, don’t even know how they’ve made you laugh so hard. Most people have laughed at something a kid has said but, did you also know that kids are smart?
Kids can easily teach adults a lesson in life once a day if we’ll listen. They are honest, matter-of-fact, and concise, three characteristics that many adults have lost along the way.
As I’ve been reading some shorts stories and practicing some reading comprehension with the ten year-old I’ve come across some pretty easy lessons according to him. One day we were talking about what can make someone live a happy life and he informed me that we should all get straight to the point, “you want to be happy in your life because you don’t have very long.” Easy. Simple. Honest.
And, everyone, if you want to know something: just ask, especially when it comes to feelings. “You aren’t going to know by wondering or asking someone else. And it will drive you nuts wondering,” he told me.
It’s knowledge like this in its simplest form that makes me wonder where it has gone. I guess because when you “just ask” the world has told us and shown us, as adults, time and again that we may not get an honest answer. As a fly on the wall during a child to child conversation you’ll hear the most truthful exchange there is. I think kids don’t really understand the magnitude of their words and actions and how they can affect another person and their feelings.
Feelings are tricky and become even trickier with the years. Like the ten year-old says in his letter to the King from a short story called “Salt and Bread,” “Some feelings can’t really be understood.”
Ain’t that the truth.