Now that Albert is retired he’s able to join me at these little school gigs with the dogs. Last week I did a short unit on “incremental problem solving” with the help of Albert and Tigerlily, and ever since we’ve been running into the kids around the island. “Mr. Albert! Miss Jenny!” And if we don’t have the dogs with us, “Where’s Tigerlily? Where’s Bee?”
Today we helped again with a different school project, where kids measured shifting sands, pulled invasive plants, picked up and tallied trash, counted piping plovers. When we arrived, some of the kids greeted me by singing one of my songs (that I taught them last time) back at me. “I’m gonna plant a tree!”
My songs aren’t on the radio. I’m not famous. But the kids made me feel that way when told me they want to grow up to be a songwriter and a dog trainer and a volunteer just like me.
Walking back from the beach, we met up with a loose dog. One child asked,”do you need to hit dogs sometimes?” Another child answered for me, having discerned the answer from our performance last week. “No! If you want to teach it first you need to know what the dog likes!”
As we walked, I pointed out the way organic matter decomposes and turns to dirt. One little girl asked me, “Do you have trees where you live too? Do those leaves become dirt? Do all leaves become dirt?”
It’s so easy to be helpful. Together our group of parents and kids bagged up trash. We gathered some data. We comforted each other. The kids probably don’t realize how all the little things they said were worth so much to us.