First Day Out

Today we had a drive-by birthday party for a fellow teacher.  It was the first time ‘out’ except for occasional trips to the grocery store, which are somber and depressing.  The masks and one-way lines and store monitors will one day be a stark reminder to future generations.

But, today was a breath of fresh air.  Literally.  The birthday party host played live music.  People honked and cheered.  His big farm sits atop a wide open hill with views for miles.  A few people got out of their cars to wave and enjoy the music.  I felt like Maria in the opening scene of “The Sound of Music.”

The host took my music request, “Baby Shark.”  Anyone with little children knows this song!  This was perfect for the birthday party guest of honor, my former fellow teacher.  She remembered.  She cried.  She loved it.  I ran around singing the song the way I do with my preschoolers.

About Jennie

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty years. This is my passion. I believe that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It's the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting. That's what I write about. I am highlighted in the the new edition of Jim Trelease's bestselling book, "The Read-Aloud Handbook" because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at both the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, and the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital.
This entry was posted in behavior, Expressing words and feelings, Giving, Inspiration, joy, music, Singing, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

82 Responses to First Day Out

  1. Ritu says:

    Aw that is perfect! And totally something I would do too!!!!

  2. beth says:

    yay! i love this! we’ve been doing drive-bys, zooms and drop offs to celebrate as best we can and to let the person know we care )

  3. ROFL!!! I love this! Oh, yes, I’m familiar with the song! Our Littlest and #1 Grandson’s love it and play for me the Grandma Shark song a lot.

    I’m meeting #1 Grandson’s other Grandma for tea/coffee and a snack this morning in a parking lot. We’re going to park like cops face to face but W I D E apart and catch up!

  4. Jim Borden says:

    looks like a beautiful setting – and great job with Baby Shark!

  5. Great day, Jennie. Thanks for sharing.

  6. It feels so funny going out these days. Scary, exciting, nervous. Glad it was a good birthday and grocery trip

  7. beetleypete says:

    Great to see, but I confess I do not enjoy that song as much as you do! Glad it finished quickly. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

    • Jennie says:

      I know exactly what you mean. After hearing the song over and over it can be wearing. I’m glad you survived the quick video. 🙂 Best to you, Pete.

  8. Darlene says:

    What fun. People, especially you, are so creative at this time of isolation. I’m sure shevrwally enjoyed it. A birthday she will always remember.

  9. That birthday party host is full of (he)art and your dancing is too…free to beeeeeeeeee….
    Happy Birthday, Jennie’s teacher friend.

    • Jennie says:

      I wish you had been there, playing music with the host. Music, and a beautiful wide open place with nature, is a perfect recipe. Thank you, Laura! 😍

  10. Awww. I love it that people are being so creative and continuing to find ways to celebrate. It means so much not only to those who are the focus of the good cheer, but to everyone who participates. ❤

    • Jennie says:

      Yes, it means so much! Everyone was in cars, except for one or two others, and crazy me who had to add life and love to the party. It was a wonderful celebration at a farm with huge open land atop a hill.

  11. petespringerauthor says:

    People have been so creative with finding ways to celebrate their birthdays. I liked your dance; the only thing better would have been if you started doing “the worm.”

    • Jennie says:

      That is so funny, Pete. Ten or so years ago, I would have done the worm! I knew how much she missed the children, and how much they loved this song. So, running back and forth in front of the cars singing “Baby Shark” was just what the doctor ordered. 😀

  12. srbottch says:

    Jennie, you light up everyone’s life. There’s no lack of shortage with your energy. Keep up the great work!

  13. Glad you got some fresh air! Our grocery stores are the same way. We are going out to the wilderness today and camp. Hoping to breathe a lot of fresh air!

  14. Dan Antion says:

    What fun! We need these things in our lives, Jennie!

  15. TanGental says:

    Ah perfect; I wrote ‘beware the great white Jennie’ and realised that might have unfortunate connotations, so let’s just leave it that you are an utter loon, but a rather special one…

    • Jennie says:

      I love this! Yes, I’m a bit of a loon. Interestingly, I grew up in a rather formal upscale family. This behavior would have given my grandmother a heart attack. After 35 years of teaching preschool I finally realized that joy is sometimes unbridled, and needs to be celebrated. Matisse attributed his success to finally learning to paint like a child. He ‘gets it’, or ‘got it’. Better late than never, said the loon.🙂

      • TanGental says:

        I’ve managed to maintain my inner 19 year old most of my life and now, having surged past sixty in a surfeit of knee supports and a season ticket to every public toilet, I’ve stopped celebrating birth years and instead added the digits together. This year I was nine and I had sponge cake and carrot sticks. Marvellous. It means that if I ever approach my ton, I will have one year as an 18 year old. That’s as old as I intended getting!

      • Jennie says:

        Geoff, you make me laugh. Thank you for that! A season ticket to every public toilet – that was a jewel. It was the children who turned me into a child, or at least the child I enjoyed being. I guess I can blame my shenanigans on them, except to be honest the root is really music. Sally and Ritu know my stories of being a wedding singer and dancer. What will I tell people in a few weeks when I turn 70? There are too many lyrics that come to mind! 😅 I was so hoping for the call to be Aretha Franklin’s backup singer. Fortunately children were far more important. 🙂

      • TanGental says:

        Did you hear about Captain Tom Moore here? He’s about to turn 100 and decided to do one hundred laps of his garden to try and raise £1000 for NHS charities . The just giving page went viral and he’s raised over £30 million! As part of the story, his favourite singer Michael Ball came on zoom and Sang ‘You’ll never walk alone’ the Gerry and the Pacemakers hit. Captain Tom joined in the chorus so they recorded both of them, some boffin spliced them together and they released the single. Last Friday it went to no 1 making Captain Tom the oldest ever no 1 holder, beating Satchmo and Tom Jones who were babes in their 60s as the next oldest. His birthday fell last week and the post offices used a local closed school where his grandson opened his 120,000 cards!

      • Jennie says:

        Geoff!! I have read all the wonderful articles and listened to the glorious recording. This is in the category of drop to your knees, bawl your eyes out, stand with pride, thank a soldier, and sing to the heavens. Wonderful is an overused word and seems quite small in this situation.

        RAF. My husband flew fighter jets in the 70’s. He has told me many times of the Royal Navy’s aircraft carrier the Ark Royal, when there was some sort of a wonderful meeting and exchange with his carrier, the Roosevelt. Prince Charles was among the ship’s company. Bottom line, our guys and your guys hit it off. The only negative was trying to teach the Yanks how to play cricket. Apparently we kept throwing the ball like a baseball, and couldn’t get the hang of the proper way to throw a cricket ball. They still tell the stories, fondly, decades later.

        Music. I grew up with Gerry and the Pacemakers. I love their songs. “Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Crying”. “Ferry Cross the Mercy”. BUT, the original “You’ll Never Walk Alone” is by Rodgers and Hammerstein from “Carousel” and that one is a sob-a-thon. Sally Cronin posted this. Storyline: the father is a bum and dies in a street fight. His one chance of doing something good for his daughter is attending her high school graduation, from heaven, and singing this song to her. I encourage you to see this. It is as good as watching Captain Tom Moore. What a hero he is. The whole event is simply wonderful.

      • TanGental says:

        Thanks Jennie
        Shows how you get so used to believing one thing – that Gerry and the PMS did the original YNWA that you don’t check! I will revise my memory!!
        Ah cricket. If only there was some right now. I miss my days snoozing and watching England bugger things up

      • Jennie says:

        I know what you mean. And did I tell you when the movie played on the late night TV, my mother came to watch. It was the first time I saw her cry (she prides herself in coming from strong Welsh stock), which I will never forget as a fifteen year old. You are missing cricket like we are missing baseball and football… no sports is really terrible. Best to you, Geoff.

    • Jennie says:

      Geoff, it was Picasso, not Matisse. Apologies. Matisse’s grandson lives in my town. A bit of a grump, like his grandfather.

  16. Elizabeth says:

    I just came inside after getting to sit outside and visit with my granddaughter at six feet away. What a treat! Loved watching you get your wiggles out.

  17. Opher says:

    Love that Jennie! My grandchildren love that song!!

  18. Now that’s a terrific birthday party alternative, Jennie! Hugs on the wing.

  19. This sounds like a great outing, especially now, Jennie.

  20. You are always such a breath of fresh air, Jenny! Thank you so kindly, Anne always

  21. dgkaye says:

    Jennie, you are truly a breath of fresh air. ❤

  22. You gave me quite the tickle here.No one can say you don’t know how to have a good time even in the worst of circumstances. Hugs.

  23. Congratulations, Jennie! Yes, we need the feeling of pure nature. Never before had these thoughts, but now sheltered it makes sense. 😉 Michael

  24. Sarah says:

    Aww – this is so sweet! 😍 I didn’t know this song so I’m super grateful for your performance, Jennie! And how lovely to have a little outing that’s more fun than depressing supermarket visits! Stay safe!

    • Jennie says:

      The song is a favorite with children, but I doubt people who aren’t around children would be familiar with it. It was so fun, and much better than the depressing grocery stores! 🙂

  25. Great story, thanks for sharing

  26. i love this!!! seems like such a wonderful place! thank you for sharing💞

    Follow @everythingtips for tips and recommendations if interested! It would mean a lot to me!🥺🤍

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