By: Joey Uva
Grace has been back in school for two weeks. I recently asked her on the drive home what her favorite things were now that she’s in the first grade. She began to tell me all about her day, who she knows and how much she likes school. (She also let me know that the turkey and cheese sandwich I pack for her lunch is just not cutting it. She says she is bored with those and asked if we could try something new. This weekend we explored new lunch options, but that’s another story all together.)
As Grace went on about her daily school activities, she stopped, paused, and said, “But, you know what my very favorite is Papa?” I replied with an excited “No, tell me!” She said, “The Nature Club, that is my favorite!” I am pretty sure I read all the back to school material and flyers that have been handed out; I haven’t seen anything about the “Nature Club”. I decided to investigate further. “The Nature Club, hmmm! Is there a leader of the club?” “Yes, it’s Brennan!” I thought for second. “Hmmm, what do you do in the Nature Club?” She replied, “We collect leaves, rocks, sticks, and various nature things!” I smiled and said, “Wow! That sounds really cool!”
The next morning I drove Grace to school. We arrived about ten minutes before the bell was to ring. As we walked to the playground where the other kids were arriving and playing, Grace said with an excited voice, “Papa, I really want to show you something.” She held my hand and walked over to a little special place where the “Nature Club” has begun its first collection. There hidden next to a wall was a pile of sticks, leaves, rocks and all the nature that she informed me about. She looked at the pile of nature, looked up at me and said, “Oh no! My favorite leaf is gone!” We looked around but before I could get a word out, she yelled, “There it is! Thank goodness it’s not lost because it’s the best one!” She placed the leaf on the top of the pile. Grace went on to tell me the names of the other kids in the “Nature Club”, that Brennan created the club and that they meet on recess to collect nature. I looked at her, gave her a big hug, and said; “Thank you for showing me the club’s collection. It seems like such a wonderful group. I am proud of you all!”
I have been part of various clubs and groups throughout my life. Some were official clubs and some are self-made groups comprised of individuals like myself. I sure hope this is the first of many clubs or groups Grace will feel proud to be part of, even if it’s the school’s unofficial “Nature Club”.