Month of my birth. Month of pumpkin pies and football games. Month of fall leaves and crisp mornings.
Month of my responsibility for Sharing Time....
The first thing I asked the kids today was "What holiday do we celebrate at the end of November?"
Immediately, I was bombarded with answers, none of them the one I was looking for. Who knew Election Day was considered a holiday by CHILDREN? And who knew they even knew what Veteran's Day was, much less that it was in November? I applaud them for knowing these things.
But what about my favorite holiday? You know, the one where you overdose on tryptophan and then fall asleep on the floor with the top button of your pants undone?
After some coaxing, they got it.
Ah, yes, Thanksgiving, my young friends. Thanksgiving.
"And what do we do at Thanksgiving?" I asked.
"Remember the pilgrims!", they cried, "Remember the Indians! Eat food!"
"Yes, yes, yes, my dears...and what else? "
Nary a word escaped their young lips.
I prodded. "What about giving thanks? "
Oh, yes, NOW they remembered. Give thanks indeed, uhhuh, of course, pass the gravy, uhhuh, I'mthirstyIneedtogopottyCanIhaveaTREATnowplease?
Next it was on to the relationship between commandments and blessings. I asked the kids what commandments we had been given. I should have had them draw these out of a hat instead of yelling them out willy-nilly at me. I should have known that children are incredibly intelligent. Curse the smartness of seven year olds! Curse it!
To my great consternation, the first answer I received was "Don't commit adultery!"
I momentarily froze, then I wrote it on the chalkboard and tried to move on as quickly as I could. But I wasn't quick enough.
Little Adam in the second row sweetly asked, "What's adultery?"
I must have looked utterly bamboozled. I felt bamboozled anyway, I felt like a sick chicken.
All the teachers (mostly males) that had been checking the game scores on their palm pilots perked up and stared at me intently. They grinned demonic little grins to see one of their own on the spit, roasting in the flames of embarrassed, awkward silence.
I tried to answer. "It's...uh...ummm....it's...."
One of the teachers tried to help me out. "It's when you cheat on your spouse."
I breathed a sigh of relief. "Yes, it's that, Adam. Now, what other commandments are there?"
But I was not to be let off so easily. As I tried to move on yet again, another child piped up.
"But what does cheating on your spouse mean?"
I wanted to run straight out of that primary room. Go jump through the nearest window, something. Anything to escape being asked sexually related questions by children other than my own in a room teaming with grinning, expectant faces. Not to mention the fact that some of the teachers were the parents of some of the kids.
Finally I said, "Cheating is when you date someone else who is not your husband or wife."
I think they finally got it then, because the girls blushed and looked down at their patent leather shoes and the boys made faces, jabbed each other in the ribs, and said, "Eww!" and "Gross!". The teachers looked around at each other and raised their eyebrows.
The last part of my sharing time involved having the kids draw what they were thankful for and then share their drawings with the rest of the primary. I don't know what I was hoping for, but this is what I got.
I am grateful for: