Last Thursday, T brought home “the bear.”
The bear has become sort of an inside joke amongst the Kinder parents at our school. While this bear means that the child holding it was drawn at random to be the next week’s “Beary Important Person,” it also has come to mean that child’s parents have now been saddled with a VERY important responsibility to help their child for a few hours over the weekend to make the best bear poster board in the history of bear poster boards.
It’s kind of a big deal, RMT’ers.
Anyway, as other parents pointed and snickered at me with a few added remarks of, “Ha ha, you got the bear! Have a really fun weekend guys!” I of course felt the pressure immediately. Everyone knew that T got the bear (it’s kind-of hard to miss), so that meant he’d better fill up that big empty bear with some fun facts and photos about who he is, where he’s been, and what he likes in all of his six years of life thus far. And it better be GOOD. So after getting over the shock that “we got the bear!” I collected myself, gave myself a pep talk that this will be fun (dammit), and quickly settled down to business.
Part of the bear deal means finding photos. That alone took two afternoons (Thursday and Friday) of my asking T to brainstorm what pictures he wanted to put onto the bear. After I had a list, that meant it was time for me to log onto our FLICKR account (that has more than 24,000 photos, by the way – no, that’s not too many zeros there) and start a focused and feverish search for the 46 photos T wanted me to find. Surprisingly, I was able to find a picture for each event and idea on T’s list. Amazing. It also helped that Grandma Beep was here to keep T out of my face as I ran searches high and low to find said photos (thank you again, Grandma Beep!).
Oh, but wait, there’s more! It’s now Day 3 (Saturday) of “the bear project”; time to get down to actual bear business. T cut out his bear from the rectangle all by himself, colored parts of the bear with a few of his favorite colors (note the color of the eyes), and puffy sticker-ed his name across the bottom first. Since T wanted to put a LOT of photos on the bear, there was no need to really do much else (whew!). Oh, except he did glue a Lego onto the nose and added a particular scar on the bear’s forehead that then led to T’s naming his bear… “Beary Potter.” Punny, T! So far, T’s on track for best bear ever, not that I’m biased or anything.
After that we took a quick break from bear work to go and print out the selected photos (which required an off-site run to the local drug store). Once we returned home, it was time to sort and prioritize pictures. It quickly became obvious that 46 photos were not going to fit on Beary Potter, however much we trimmed them down, so C and I devised several elimination methods to make this part go rather quickly for how many pictures we had to set aside (only about one-third of the pictures made it onto Beary Potter, so for anyone reading this in T’s class, when it comes time for you, go with 15-20 photos, it’ll make your life much easier, trust me).
Finally, C helped guide T in trimming the photos down and gluing them onto Beary Potter. Since Beary Potter will remain on display in the classroom until June, C used some woodworkers’ glue to ensure that nothing would pop off mid-year because of changing temperatures and such. I love that I married someone who thinks of stuff like that because who knows what junky glue I might have chosen.
OK, now that T’s finished that, all done, right? Nope! Now it was time for C and I to be sure T knew what he was going to say about his bear, the pictures, and anything related to how he decorated Beary Potter. On Monday, he gave a 20 minute presentation that included questions from his class and teacher about his bear and/or any other questions about himself. He also shared a bag of treasures from home that will remain on a display table at school through the end of the week.
There are other jobs this week that also go along with being the “Beary Important Person”: Front of the line (every time!), Wacky Weather Wednesday, and any other special classroom tasks to assist his peers and the teacher as-needed. He also got to hold the flag again at Monday assembly!
I started out this project with T with more of a focus on it as a chore; in the end, however, it actually wound up being pretty fun. I saw the excitement on T’s face within moments of him being selected to be this week’s Beary Important Person (there’s nothing better than being around for a moment like that); looked at a LOT of pictures of T, our family, and his friends from the last six-plus years (good times down the rabbit hole there); and spent some quality time at home with T and C last weekend (I try my best to appreciate those moments). I just hope all of T’s school projects go this smoothly (and we work this well together) in the future because there will definitely be many more days like this to come, yet at the same time these days will be over in a flash.