You know the look, joy and enthusiasm that almost bubbles from their lips and eyeballs. Barely noticeable, they inched closer and closer to my lap with their tightly gripped, freshly pulled carrots, (complete with greens) sharing unsolicited descriptions, one after the other, and occasionally over the other, "Mine are wuttle," " I got a tiny one." "This one is big!" Max said, pointing to the biggest of his three. Owen said "carrots!" Alex said nothing, (highly irregular) perhaps hoping no one would notice his and they'd remain that way. I lost track, but someone counted theirs aloud. Jarrah and Tommie claimed their as "big ones" and Stella June, Margot, and Campbell simply sang "carrots, carrots, carrots" as they all marched through my office door.
What was even more revealing than the joy oozing from their bodies happened after they'd left my office and headed next door, to the kitchen. There, they were asked to hand over their "prizes" for a proper washing. "Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat? Give them up, but I thought they were mine," I played in my head. Surely chaos would ensue, tears of injustice would flood the kitchen floor, but no, not a single, "they're mine." The children turned them into the giant colander, watched them bathe under the giant spray nozzle and returned, empty handed, to their classroom, carrots in a bowl. They weren't sad, they weren't distraught, they might have been a teeny bit disappointed, but it wasn't obvious. They were okay with the community sense of this experience. They were satisfied to be part of an effort bigger than themselves and one that didn't require any competition for a "carrot." Content in knowing they were all about to enjoy lunch together, with a bonus carrot as dessert, was all well and good. Now that's healthy!
Peace, Love, & Joy