Thursday, June 17, 2010

Pen Pals

I have said no to all offers to substitute teach these last few weeks and have immersed myself in conspicuous parenthood. I have accompanied the fourth grade on its hiking field trip to a state park. I have attended band concerts, barbecues, and class parties. I handed out ice pops at the first grade field day, ran the scooter race station at the fourth grade field day, and ran something called "Water Works" at fifth grade field day. If it's possible, I think I have clocked more hours in elementary school than my kids have. There was one event that I missed however. In fact, parents were not invited, but what I wouldn't have paid to be a fly on the wall. It was yesterday when my daughter's fourth grade class met with their pen pals. My daughter had the great good fortune to have a creative, clever, and hard working teacher this year who brilliantly paired her students up with residents of a local retirement community as pen pals. It was a huge success for my daughter who I've always said is an old woman trapped in a little girl's body. She and her pen pal Marcia sent each other long detailed letters about their mutual love of cats and poetry. They learned that they each have a best friend named Susie. They shared details of their hobbies. Marcia sent Hayden a cd of big band music and Hayden sent Marcia a key from her key collection. That exchange went over a little better than the one in which a boy in Hayden's class received coupons clipped by his pen pal. But all in all, I think the whole program was a success. I just would have loved to watch their meeting. Luckily, the teacher took a photo of Hayden and her pen pal. The two plan to keep up their "correspondence." The whole thing makes me happy. I know receiving the letters has thrilled my daughter and I hope Marcia has enjoyed it too. I suspect she has.

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