Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Had another good day.

Was a skills aide again at an elementary school I worked at last week. That means I spent the day with a teacher, another aide, and about ten little kids with various learning disabilities or handicaps. Last time I was there it was only a half day assignment. This time it was 7AM to 3PM. There were times when I had a hard time keeping my eyes open, but then there were other moments I'll never forget.

There was one wheelchair bound kid with some sort of issue that keeps him from being able to use his limbs the way he needs to. He can use his hands, for the most part, but can't really use his legs or speak clearly. Thing is, he's a tough little boy, and you can see the drive in him, in his eyes and expressions, to get deep into everything the rest of the kids are doing.

We went out to recess this morning, and I was pushing this kid, with him saying "Faster, faster," all the time. I'd pop him up in a wheelie and go as fast as I thought was safe, and he'd always be bummed out when I had to stop.

When we got to the playground, he said he wanted to be put on the swing set. I hesitated at first, but then I saw that one swing was set up with a huge plastic seat with support that comes down over the riders shoulders and locks in place, like on a roller coaster. That allows handicapped kids like this one to swing like the rest of the kids.

So, the teacher and I loaded the kid into the seat and I started pushin' him. He's gigglin' and yellin' "Faster, faster," so I grabed him by the swing seat, pulled him as high up as I could and let go, keeping him going by pushing on his back as he swung up in front of me. You should have heard him squeal and giggle. He was lovin' it, and so was I. Next thing I know the other kids are all yellin' for me to push them. Never fails. They all know a good thing when they see it.

Later on, during PE, they brought these handicapped kids into the gym with a few classes of other kids, set some soft rubber balls down in the middle of the floor and played what looked like a modern twist on Dodge Ball. In stead of throwing the balls at one another, the kids ran around the gym and tagged one another with the balls. Once tagged, the kids had to hand the ball over to someone else on their team.

Of course, the kid in the wheelchair was desperate to play. So, I unhooked him from his chair, hoisted him up, face down, in my arms (he couldn't have weighed more than 40 or 50 pounds). His chest was in one arm and his legs in another, the ball extended out in his hands. We ran around with the other kids, lettin' him tag a few, gigglin' his head off. When he was tagged, I took him back and put him in his chair. Next time it was his turn I just rolled him around fast in the chair. Hell, I was beat by then. I think I got a better workout than the kids. At least, a better workout than I'm used to. It was a blast.

By the end of the day I was ready to go home. I took the boy out to his bus and watched as the driver lowered the lift so he could roll himself on. Then it was my turn to head home. Fer sure, teachin' college never wore me out like that.



Mushy said...

What can I say, I'm so proud of you!

BRUNO said...

Careful, or before you realize it, you'll have some prick from Social Services accusing you of child-endangerment, because you pushed him too high, or wheelied-him too fast.

Kids LOVE it! But unfortunately, the kids have no say in the matter. Then again, maybe Texas applies the rule a lot-more loosely than Missouri?

I got an in-law who's a case-worker for the State Of Missouri, in Family Services Division. Sneaky-bitch, she is!

Hopefully I'll die BEFORE her, so's that I can be in hell-FIRST, waitin' for her, LOL!!!!!!!☺

*Goddess* said...

I think it's so interesting where life takes us. You were seeing the world through the eyes of the soldiers and teens, and now you're seeing it through the eyes of the little children.

FHB said...

Mushy - Thanks brutha. You know that means the world to me. particularly now.

Bruno - Yea, those issues were on my mind the whole time. I'm always thinking about how close I can let some kid get to me, knowing how it might look to have some little girl or boy huggin' on my leg. It's a horrendous shame that perverts have ruined so much innocent joy.

And the swing is the same. Shit, how many times did we fall off them, and there was no thoughts of law suits. The world has gone to hell, fer sure.

Goddess - Yea, I learn something new every day. I have a special connection to the littlest ones, maybe because I'll never have any of my own. And maybe because I'm such a Sasquatch to them, they always look up at me with such wonder. But i don't think I could teach little ones for a living. I'm built for college. You can't beat the fun of laying everything out, with no worries about a parent who might be offended.