Gloria had quite the day today. Sometimes life can start out just terrible, and take many turns along the way. After today, Gloria knows that all too well.
Children were in the Big Room doing music and movement. I was in the classroom setting up for the day. I noticed Gloria was not on the couch. Perhaps she had gone home with a child the night before. That often happens. Nope. I checked everywhere in the classroom. No Gloria. Then I had to stop my search and set up. I needed some “brass” vessels for our open air Indian market, so I opened the door to the pretend kitchen in our dramatic play area.
There was Gloria – face down on a cookie sheet. Who would do such a thing?
I left the kitchen door open. When children returned to the classroom, they saw my face. Shock was written all over. I told them that something terrible had happened to Gloria, and they needed to go and find her – and fix it.
They scrambled. They found her. They hugged her, told her how sorry they were, got her an ice pack, and brought her to Morning Meeting. Someone suggested Gloria should be Helper of the Day. That means leading the group in singing the days of the week, recognizing calendar numbers, and identifying the weather, among many other jobs.
Now, that was a great suggestion!
But Gloria was not thrilled. She was hesitant. We kept asking her why, and she told us:
“I don’t know what to do. I don’t know the numbers because I can’t see from the couch, and…. you don’t invite me to Morning Meeting.”
Could things be any worse? A wise person once said, “Sometimes things have to get worse before they get better.”
We rallied behind Gloria. Everyone helped her with numbers, reading the days of the week, and singing. She was slow to respond, but she accepted the children’s help. The children were saying in the best way they could, “We’re sorry, Gloria.”, and “We love you, Gloria.”, and “How can we make it better, Gloria?”
Someone asked about Gloria’s journal. We hadn’t read it in a while. So, we decided to read the journal along with Gloria.
I had no idea that Gloria wore a snowsuit and went sledding! Wait…she played the piano? And she ‘camped out’ at bedtime?
And she had a pancake breakfast? And rode in the cart at the grocery store? And went to ski lessons?
We read page after page of Gloria’s journal. Together. Memories and stories can heal wounds. Gloria felt good. The children felt even better.
The rest of the day was busy, and Gloria was included. Later in the afternoon we had a visit from a baby bunny. Everyone was eager to see the bunny. Children made sure Gloria got to see, too.