One of my favorite things about little kids has always been how much they like me. This sounds shallow, like I’m using poor defenseless children to validate my self-esteem. But you don’t know what the kids in my class were like my first time through elementary school. Oh sure, I had friends. But there were also kids singing the Jenny Craig theme song, calling me "Randy Savage" and refusing to check yes in the "do you like me? yes/no" notes. Small wonder I liked entertaining Baby Gigantor and his friends with puppet shows and improv games in the backyard more than your average school day interaction.
But as Do-Gooder Teaching Artist Assistant, I am the bomb. The kids are quick enough to catch my sarcasm, and laugh at it, without being so jaded as to serve it back up with malice. They’re unintentionally hilarious, deliberately charming, schemey and very creative. I don’t think I have enough energy to keep up with them every day, but every so often, like today, when a little girl came up next to where I was sitting with some of her classmates and flung her arm around my shoulders to show me the frog she painted that I helped her draw last week, and I have a hard time imagining anywhere else I want to be. .