My little William is blossoming like crazy. He's not even little anymore. He's huge! The tallest kid around these parts. Some things surprise me about this boy. He is truly a delightful puzzle.
He's annoying (not to me, to his siblings).
And, well, he never trims his fingernails.
I asked William who he played with at recess. He said, Nobody. Yikes. Red flag. I probed more. To my surprise, William stays in the lunchroom and helps clean up. He CHOOSES to miss lunch recess, the LONGEST recess of the day, to sweep floors and pick up garbage. When I was a kid you couldn't pay me enough to miss recess, I had a reputation to maintain; therefore, I was completely intrigued and baffled by this newly-learned information. Who is this strange boy, the fruit of my loins?
I had to dig deeper. What kid really enjoys that kind of stuff, for real? Was he sad, lonely, bullied, friendless? Nope (unless he's lying through his teeth). He was none of those things. He just really likes doing it. He wants to help clean the lunchroom. Hmm. Curious. And, maybe not so curious. There were a few teachers who I loved pleasing. A few to which I was willing to be a teacher's pet. Maybe the lunch ladies are that for him? Or, maybe closer to the truth, he likes the feeling that comes from helping others.
For a split second I felt bad that ALL of my kids weren't cleaning the lunchroom everyday. Then I realized that was a little ridiculous. Each of my kids is learning this principle in his own way. Lincoln is quickest to sacrifice ANYTHING for a family member (he puts me to shame, sometimes). He takes no thought for himself. Brigham is always doing things for others. Always. He's the oldest child. It comes with the territory. He may not always smile through it, but he does it, diligently. He can enjoy recess without any guilt-trip from me. And Annie is still so young that helping isn't so much a choice as it is a pleasure. Does Sam count? He's just here. Smiling. He provides constant opportunities for helping. An invaluable teaching tool.
So, William can clean the lunchroom to his heart's content.
(And I'm left wishing this vigor would carry over to his dinner dish duties. I would certainly be MOST grateful.)