Working every day at my service site, St. Pat’s Elementary School, has settled me into a routine. I am often the first one to arrive at the school every morning as the sun is rising, and the last one to leave every evening, just as dark has crept over the entire school. Also in my schedule is a three hour morning break since I work morning care, as an aide during the school day, and afternoon daycare until 6pm. As much as I love feeling confident and content in my routine at St. Pat’s, it is the moments that snap me out of this schedule that have often brought me great joy. It is always when I feel sure of what is coming next, that I am shown no matter how much I plan, ultimately, it is out of my hands.
Today is the Friday before Thanksgiving break, and I had planned out my entire day as I was driving into work this morning. As I made the five-minute drive at 6:45am, I thought about how after morning care during my break I would come home and go on a run, take a shower, make a smoothie, respond to some e-mails, write this blog, and maybe make a phone call or two. I guess that is why the quote goes “if you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans” because right as I walked out of morning care, the first grade teacher Ms. Young gave me a big hug and a knowing smile and said, “Mr. Serrano is out today so you’ll be subbing for the third grade.” While I have subbed before, making it an eleven hour day, I had not yet subbed for this third-grade class who are known for being especially rambunctious. Even though my day did not go as planned, and I was subbing for a very challenging class, I ended up having one of my favorite days at my service site.
After the third graders finished their morning work, I was able to teach all of them how to do Cat’s Cradle with string, something my dad had taught me at their age. I had never seen a large group of ten-year-olds listen so intently and I was filled with joy watching them complete the Cat’s Cradle after a few failed attempts. In the afternoon, the whole school walked to Morley Field together to cheer on their classmates who were participating in the Turkey Trot race. I played the Rocky Balboa theme song over the megaphone and felt joy rising out of me as I watched the whole school so genuinely excited and happy to be together. I was ready to end my day as I always do with afternoon daycare, when a former AV who now teaches 4th grade at the school came up to me and said, “You’ve had a long day, I talked to the principal, you can go home now.” I had never not done afternoon daycare and it was honestly hard to leave. I made sure everything was in order with my daycare workers and for the first time all year, left school at 3:30pm! This day was exciting and stressful and hilarious and long but most of all, it was undeniably joyous.
San Diego, CA 2016-2017