Over the past few months, I have been taking care of three little girls after school until their parents come home from work. Usually, it’s a couple hours each day, meeting them at the bus, doing homework, getting snacks, and taking them to various activities like gymnastics, soccer, and Wednesday night church events.
Every once in a while, when they have school vacation, I stay with them all day, planning activities, making lunches, and everything else.
This week, the Dearborn Schools have a particularly unusual schedule, with a half day on Monday, and a full day on Friday. That’s right, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, there is no school.
Since the two older sisters (7 and 9) were away on a business trip with their father to Chicago, it was just the little one and I today.
We had quite a busy day, starting with riding bikes the few blocks from their house to the church, a visit to the park, many games of chess & checkers, another trip to the park with the dog, games of bingo, and the library.
During the second trip to the nearby park, we walked along the sizeable river that runs through the lower portion.
As we walked towards the playground, a flock of ducks floated on by down the river. The little 5 year old I was with was quickly mesmerized. We spent a good twenty minutes watching and talking about the ducks.
After a few minutes of silence, and watching the ducks go up and down the river, I heard:
“I wish I was a duck.”
I asked if I understood her correctly, and she said again, “I wish I was a duck. I like how they just swim up and down all day, playing in the water. They are going on field trips!”
I started to think about how life would be if we were ducks. Were they watching us, standing on the bank of the river, thinking “I wish I was a person. They have fun.” After my runaway thoughts caught back up with me, the little 5 year old was tugging on my jacket, and said “let’s go, the ducks can’t play on the playground.”
I guess it’s better to be a person.