It's always amazing to see the way kids just situate themselves into new endeavors. As an anxiety-ridden adult, I often forget that I was once a child who made friends with everyone and felt at home whether I was at preschool, the North Wind (NMU's student newspaper where both my parents worked), or hanging out at NMU's Public Safety office making friends with future police officers and coloring pictures of Scruff McGruff ("Take a bite outta crime!") I really shouldn't be surprised, then, that Lilah seems as though she is an old pro at this school stuff.
What was most amazing to me was that, after such a short time, Lilah knew her nametag was a yellow circle. The reason this is so amazing to me is because, at home, it is pulling teeth to get her to tell me what a certain shape is and it's a veritable root canal trying to get her to tell me the color of said shape. Now, I'm not saying I was a bad teacher for her when she was learning at home, but I was obviously lacking a certain something that she is now getting. And that's a good thing, really. Don't get me wrong, I think home schooling works for some kids (my wife is a great example) but if Lilah Rose has my personality which, if you're being kind, we can describe as incredibly social, then she may not be correctly brained for solo learning. So I guess we'll see on that one.
Lilah had the show and tell bag today as I said before and she did take Merida. She loves that doll. What strikes me most, though, is when she's asked about the film, she immediately talks about how Merida followed the Will-o-the-Wisps. If you don't know anything about Wisps, do yourself a favor and research them a bit. Her infatuation with them is interesting, though, because of something that happened when my wife was pregnant with Lilah. We were living up north and Allison asked me to, for the Hallowe'en season, write some spooky story songs. One of these stories I wrote was a suite of three songs called the "Will-o-the-Wisps" and it was a short story in song form about a boy whose brother follows the Wisps into the swamp and the elder brother, overcome with guilt, goes searching for him. The resolution I left up to the listener. What's interesting is I played those songs a lot when my wife was pregnant and I think that they had an effect, honestly. A lot of people will say "Dude, cut your new age hippie crap." But to them I say I love folk music and I've been making it for years and years because I was drawn to it and when my mom was pregnant with me, she and my dad went and saw Bob Dylan & Tom Petty in concert. So, I believe there is a definite correlation.
Being a helping parent today wasn't too hard. I pretty much just did as I was told. At one point, another one of the parents asked me if I was bothered by just being told what to do and I assured her I preferred it that way. Otherwise, I would have just been standing around looking like a lost puppy (only not nearly as cute.) The kids were all really great, too. They are so cool with the ways their little minds work. I hung out at the puzzle table for a while, then moved on to playdough, then helped a little girl make a Menorah (I did learn most of their names, I'm just not including them because I never asked the parent's permission and I don't feel right without doing so.)
After snack time (easy set up and tear down) we all went to the big room to play. It was funny to see Lilah favored the Little Tikes car (the one you use your feet to propel or as I've always called it, you move it by "Flinstoning.") They even had the little blue gas pump. I like to tell a story about my childhood that has to do with that car and gas pump. On some holiday (Christmas, I think) we were visiting my grandpa Leo in Chicago. I was probably five or six because I don't believe my little brother was born yet. My parents told my grandpa not to buy anything too big because our family car wasn't very large and we would have to haul whatever it was back up to Marquette. My grandpa's response to this was to buy me one of those cars complete with little blue gas pump. As far as I've been told, it was about half the size of the family car and I've never been sure what miracle occurred to get it home, but home it got and I loved it. I remember I used to hide in it when I would get grounded from TV, pretending to be playing, but (I thought) secretely getting away with watching the tube. I'm glad my parents were kind enough to let me have that delusion. It's always interesting, though, to see things from your childhood make their way into the life of your own kid. Like some great cosmic circle bringing back possibly forgotten happy times.
That's really all, I know this got rambly, but it was a busy day and a really cool experience. I could talk so much more, but now I just need coffee. Oh so much coffee.