May 6, 2021- The six and seven-year-olds watched, from the safety of the playground and grassy field, as a thick black cloud rose, five miles away. The four of us adults watching the group of fifty fielded lots of questions and assuaged the concerns of those watching, that the fire would be upon us, “any minute now.”
It had been a most productive day, from working on mixed addition and subtraction to working on a Mother’s Day packet. The children worked well in pairs and in groups of four, with a bit of “He said I have no friends” and “She scribbled on my Mother’s Day heart”. Some things never change, and are just handled with care.
I stood with a thoughtful little man and explained how the smoke would not affect us, while he continued to express concern about the chance it could zip across five miles of houses and fields. I assured him the fire department was on the job, and as the smoke drifted eastward, well away from us, we all happily watched as the thick black cloud diminished-then disappeared altogether.
It was a bad day for a junkyard owner, but a good day for some little ones to keep faith in their elders, and in their First Responders.