I had the most delightful experience yesterday.
As a part of my teaching work, on occasions I am required to take a relief lesson…and yesterday was one of those days. However, rather than the usual task of relieving a lesson in the high school, I was asked to assist in supervising a craft lesson with the class 1 children.
I pondered as I wandered over to the classroom what it might be that the children would be creating in the lesson and indeed, what help, as a trained Phys Edder, I could possibly be!
I approached the door to the classroom with a mix of mild trepidation and wonder and calmly entered the room and took my place amongst the circle of littlies on the floor, cross-legged and awaiting the craft teacher’s instruction. It wasn’t long before I noticed that 4 or 5 of the young boys had grabbed their craft bags and sidled over towards me to form a small group on the floor of which I was the focal point. They then reached into their craft bags and each pulled out their knitting needles and wool and continued to work away on the ‘mother hens’ that they were carefully crafting.
“Hi, I’m Corbin…our teacher’s name is Andrew too!” a gorgeous chocolate brown eyed boy gently informed me.
“Hi Corbin, yeah, there are a few Andrew’s teaching here aren’t there?”, I replied.
I have often thought how lucky the primary aged boys are at my school. We have an even balance of males and females in the primary school…something that is a rarity these days.
“Andrew look at my hen, I’m nearly finished” Harper chimed in, enthusiastically rising to his knees to show me his handiwork.
I admired his carefully crafted hen and considered the patience which was required from these children to create their woollen creatures.
“I’m Riley, Andrew, and I’m a bit slow at knitting. What class do you teach?” a third boy enquired.
“Do you have kids?”, a fourth asked keenly.
And so the lesson continued, a brood of 7 year old boys around me, enquiring about me and my life, sharing about theirs…all the time knitting away!
Conversation ranged from school to sport to family to food…all those things relevant in a 7 year old boy’s life.
At times a girl would wander over and say hello…but the bulk of my time was spent, cross-legged on that mat, surrounded by boys…and I observed how my heart was filled with a warmth and love for these precious lads, for their enthusiasm, their gentleness, their engagement…their ‘boy-ness’.
And as I helped the boys pack their knitting back into their craft bags at the end of the lesson, I was so grateful for the gift I had been given of 40 minutes in their company.
It was such a clear example and reminder of what it is I spend a lot of time speaking and writing about…how much boys love being in the company of men, how they crave the attention of men, how they want to know about the lives of men…ultimately, how important it is that boys are given the opportunity to spend time sitting with men…observing, learning, being. But not only that, it was a delight-filled reminder to me of the gift that we as men get…when we take the time to experience and immerse ourselves in the wonder of boys.
I whole-heartedly recommend it!