Today I served as a chaperone for my daughter's 2nd grade class field trip to a science center to learn about the life cycles of butterflies. It was interesting and I enjoyed looking in the microscopes. I don't always enjoy looking at sliced up living things, as it brings the whole notion of death to the forefront of my imagination, and vision. But this was pretty cool.
Then lunchtime rolled around and I ended up sitting next to a child I didn't know, while my daughter joined her allergy-prone friend at the peanut-less end of the table. The boy decided that I looked like a good person to strike up a conversation with.
Boy: Do you want to hear what happened to my hand? (He showed me a bandage on his hand).
Me: Uhh. Sure. (Not really, but I wasn't going to tell a poor kid no)
Boy: I sliced my hand on glass and it dug really deep and then I moved my hand and it went even deeper. Then my mom had to pull it out and there was so much blood that it just covered my whole hand and it was everywhere.
(At this point, I set my lunch down, no longer feeling hungry.)
Boy: Finally my mom got a bandaid to stay on it and so that was good. And now it looks like this...(before I could do anything, he pulled the bandage back to reveal his mangled hand and my stomach flipped over).
Me: Wow, that sounds like it must have really hurt.
(We both sat quietly for some minutes and I looked off in the other direction to check on my daughter. When I turned back to him, he was waiting to make eye contact again.)
Boy: Sometimes I just get really dizzy. (Pause) I really need to go to the bathroom now.
Good heavens. I seriously don't know how teachers do this everyday. They are my heroes.