When I was in high school and college, I was sure that I was going to teach young children. At the time, four year olds were my favorite age, maybe Kindergarten. I got my degree in Early Childhood Education, knowing that I'd never teach any children older than third grade, but even that seemed preposterous to me. Third grade was far older than I'd ever want to teach.
So, here I am, this summer, doing crafts with fourth graders at Vacation Bible School. The funniest part is that I love it. I've been spending weeks, probably closer to months, kicking myself for signing myself up for that age group. What do I know about fourth graders? They'll be horrible and obnoxious and out of control. I was sure I had no business doing it.
I have found the most charming, helpful, loving group of children. They are eager to do the crafts, to learn the bible story, to listen, participate and even, get this, have a conversation with me. And, they even laugh at my jokes! I know!
I'm not sure if I like them so much because they are not of an age of child that resides in my home, or if it's because they're so self-sufficient, but I would even go as far as to say that I'm having fun.
Now, the fifth and sixth graders, however, still frighten me. But I like ten year olds. They're pretty stinkin' cool.