Saturday, December 19, 2009

Sixth-grade Sincerity

The Caterpillar's sixth grade class is a tightly knit group.  Most of them have been together for a few years now, but they warmly welcome newcomers, as the Caterpillar was last year.  I'm sure they have their differences, but mostly they seem to get along pretty well.

During the gift exchange at the Christmas party yesterday, the teacher reminded them all to be gracious about whatever they received, and the students heeded her advice.  Afterward, though, while the others were chatting, eating snacks, and showing each other calculator tricks, one boy sat alone, facing away, trying hard to conceal his disappointment about the gift he had received.  The teacher briefly commented on his isolation, but did not pry.  Right away, two of the girls appeared at his side, quietly assessing the situation, ready to trade or share their own gifts.  After some satisfactory solution had been reached, they gave him a "group air hug," imparting cheer without discomfort.  Then another boy quietly engaged him in playing a game he had just received.  They sat on the floor, where the distressed one could regain his composure without observation.  I was impressed, and grateful that my Caterpillar could be a member of this caring class.

Note:  While both sensitive and generous, the Caterpillar played no part in this touching scene.  He was busy eating through two slices of pizza, two chocolate brownies, one handful of potato chips, one or two Santa cupcakes, five doughnut holes, assorted fruits...

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