Yesterday I went to Emma's school to volunteer in her classroom. It was my first time ever. I had no idea what to expect.
For part of my time there, Emma's class was paired up with a third grade class. They each had a buddy for an art project they were all doing. The kids in Emma's class were the Big Buddies and the third graders were the Little Buddies. Sometimes it was hard for me to tell who was Big and who was Little. Let's just say Emma's classmates are not all as tall as she is.
There was one little boy who I knew was a Little Buddy though. His name was Mark. I think I instantly gravitated to his big brown eyes...and name. (He had straight blond floppy hair though.)
Also, he didn't pay attention.
Like another Mark I know.
He sat there with no idea what he was supposed to be doing because he hadn't listened. His Big Buddies (he had two) were no help to him. They were sort of disgusted by him and completely ignored him.
I said, "Mark, are you going to do your art project?" He looked at me.
Then he said, "I'm going to the bathroom."
I know a Mark that makes that same escape when he's been sitting too long (like 5 minutes).
When he was gone, I asked the girl next to him if she would help him. She said, "He's annoying."
So I helped him when he came back. As best I could. He was something of a handful with his interpretation of the instructions. I couldn't turn my back on the kid. (Glue was involved.)
But I liked him.
He reminded me of somebody.
Somebody who wrapped his wiry body around mine from the top rung of his bunk bed ladder when I kissed him good-night. He said, "Tomorrow I want to spend more time with you. Today you were rushing."
I was rushing.
Today we'll have more time. My Mark and me.