I let Elf attend the end-of-year fifth grade party last week. I figured he'd want that extra few hours to say goodbye to friends, eat snacks and listen to the DJ music/whatever the kids do. So happens D took the day off work, so I decided I'd pop by with my camera to take some pictures and help out.
Do you see any pictures in this post? Me neither. There's a reason for that, though...
I found Elf in the corner just standing there, looking at his shoes. Everyone else was running back and forth all over the gym or dancing, or giggling in little groups. Asked Elf what was wrong.
Ok... nothing is wrong, but you are standing here doing nothing and not off with your friends.
That's right. And more than that, he's starting to get MAD AT EVERYONE because his friends keep asking him to dance or play and he doesn't wanna. But in answer to my question, NO. He doesn't want to leave.
So I'm letting that sink in a minute. Hm. You know, Elf, your friends are probably thinking you're acting like a jerk because they want you to have fun with them and you are saying no. Maybe you should apologize.
I kept trying to prompt him to go see his friends. He wanted me to go with him... so I went. Then he suddenly hid behind me and asked me to talk. Sorry! Maybe I just looked like the most foolish mom ever just then, but sorry! If Elf has something to say, he needs to say it. He clammed up.
Back to the corner again for a huddle. Elf doesn't want to leave. But he doesn't want to dance, either.
Elf, how about you talk with this group of kids over here? They're your friends. No, he told me. And he seemed to be fighting the urge to cry. It just is not appropriate on the very last day of school to have a party, he told me.
Ohhh, so... you know that when you leave here, you can't come back ever again. As a student, anyway. Elf nodded.
Aww. Took the guy out of the gym and we said goodbye to the office staff. And then Elf DID cry. Started to walk out and saw one of the ladies who tested Elf before he came to school. Then *I* cried.
*sniff* I just love the staff at Oak Tree Elementary. I love them as much as I detested the staff at Famous Explorers Elementary. Just their kindness has brought a lot of healing to Elf. And to me.
In Elf's papers, I found a report card. He got an A in reading, B in Language Arts, B in Mathematics, B in Science and Social Studies, and an S (satisfactory) in Art, Music and PE. And there was a note:
"Elf has been such a welcome addition to our classroom! He arrived ready, willing, and able to take on any challenge! He has truly excelled in the 23 days that he has been with us. Of note, his desire-- and ability -- to read independently is truly amazing. Also, Elf displays great life skills, i.e., 'Please,' 'Thank you,' 'Excuse me,' etc. What a kind, compassionate child he is! One suggestion: Continue to work on listening and organizational skills! Elf is a conscientious student who will use his determination to do grand and glorious things in life!"
Thank you, Mr. McC. I see you have already done grand and glorious things with yours. God bless you.