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Show and Tell


by Tracie Grimes
Tracie is a monthly contributor to Kern County Family Magazine

mole
I’ve been reflecting a lot lately. Thinking back on the days of my oldest children’s (who are now in their 20s) childhood, wondering where the time went. I know it’s cliché to say, “Time goes by so fast…” but it really, really does.

I do have to do a little fast-forwarding, though. I’d prefer not to re-live the public (and private, for that matter) tantrums, poopy diapers, and the one-millionth time I had to sit through Beauty and the Beast.

One of my favorite memories has to do with the one thing that school children seem to live for: show and tell.  You know, the day of the mundane parade of super balls, Barbie dolls, and cheap plastic toys the kids won at Chuck E Cheese (or, Mom found under the seat after the child realized she’d forgotten it’s her day for show and tell).

It was time to ramp things up a bit, my daughter thought, not wanting to bring in the usual McDonald’s Happy Meal toy.  She wanted to show her classmates something that had the whole family cringing and saying “eeeewwww” the night before.  She decided to bring in a mole that my husband had found floating in our pool.

Boy, did that spark some interest amongst the little kindergarteners!  It was WAAAY more interesting than the plastic snake one little boy brought.  Although my daughter’s classmates were gathering around saying, “WOW,” or “Can I touch it?” (mostly from the boys), Teacher was NOT happy.  She gave me a withering look over the top of her horn-rimmed glasses.

I blamed it on my husband.  “He thought this would be very educational, since most of these kids have only seen cartoon moles with glasses and aprons,” I said, avoiding direct eye-contact with Mrs. Sinha.  “Consider it an opening to a lesson in biology.”

I guess you could call the activity that followed a lesson in biology, but I think it was more of a sociology teaching moment.  As Mrs. Sinha was trying to decide how to approach the whole topic of a dead mole, the class seemed to know what to do.  They wanted a funeral.  The mole had to be buried, and it had to be with all the pomp and circumstance befitting its mole-y life.  So, the class lesson that day was burials.

Somberly, a chosen classmate prepared the mole (the Ziploc bag he was brought in was wrapped with toilet paper).  A hole was dug, prayers were said, and songs were sung.  My daughter was called on for the eulogy:  “He was probably a good mole, but not too smart; ‘cause he went swimming, when he didn’t know how to swim.”  Beautiful.

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Tags: Featured Story, Parenting


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