His name is Max, and he’s all boy.
He comes to school with his hat on backwards and smiling a devilish smile that will most certainly get him out of a lot of trouble in the future. He stirs the pot without even lifting a finger...and has it down to a science.
I’ve had to move him away from almost every boy in the class while we are sitting on the carpet. He can’t keep his hands to himself; he hums, he picks, he laughs, he wrestles and he is always, always moving.
At recess he runs a hundred miles and hour. He starts with the football players, moves to the basketball court, the swings, the slides, the jungle gym and the crazy, puffy, springy things that the kids can jump across while the teacher watches scared to death. Frankly, I’m exhausted each day just watching his level of activity.
But I found out something else interesting about Max.
He loves bugs.
And so do I.
He is fascinated by the metamorphosis occurring in our caterpillar aquarium, and has started spending an inordinate amount of time near our butterfly garden on the playground. We are having fascinating discussions about all the nature we spot while outside, and I am thrilled at his questions and enthusiasm. He is still, however, the king of the wild things in my room.
And then today happened.
After lunch he was sitting at my feet as I sat in the rocking chair for our story. He raised his hand. “I made you a picture at lunch today, Mrs. Smythe.”
He stood, reached into his pocket and pulled out a wadded piece of paper. He unwrapped it and handed me the most beautiful abstract picture. I was speechless.
“Thank you, Max!!! Is your name on it? Oh, I see it. Can you please put it carefully on my desk so I can put it up on wall? I LOVE IT! That was so thoughtful.”
He smiled as he ran back to the carpet to claim his spot up front.
We headed out to recess after the story, and Max stayed behind with me. He asked if I would go to the butterfly garden with him, and I went happily! We pointed out billions of insects and such, and then headed to the swings. We swung in the sun while pointing to all the various butterflies zig zagging their way across the playground. We were joined by many others in the class, and it was incredible.
We spent a bit more time bonding and laughing until I insisted he run over and join the football/soccer/wrestling extravaganza that was occurring on the field below.
I walked over to Miss Jones, one of the other fabulous first grade teachers, and had a sudden realization.
“Oh my Lord, I think I just had a date with Max." I said, laughing.
“Date? Naw. You found a way to tame the wild thing. And you know what? He is going to have the best year ever,” she said with a smile.
I looked out at the sea of wild things and realized that it was the other way around. The other way around, indeed.