Geneva has preschool every Tuesday and Thursday. I've chosen to use that time to help out in Todd and Shem's classroom. On Tuesday, I head to Shem's class. Sweet, innocent, 2nd graders. On Thursday, I go to Todd's class; loud, boy/girl crazy, FUN 4th graders. Todd tells me he's the only one in ALL of 4th grade who does not have a Valentine. Then he does his chuckle (a cocky sorda noise) and says, "But that's because I haven't asked anyone." This is the 1st year the having a Valentine actually meant something. This is the year you actually have to preread the Valentines you send out, because you don't want just ANY kid in the class thinking you want to be their Valentine. I remember 4th grade so vividly. There was one boy in my class, my cousin actually, who "had fleas." I cringe just thinking back on it. I usually was pretty good and not joining in on the chatter, but I remember one day he was walking into the classroom, and I hid behind the door with two others girls so we wouldn't get fleas. To this day, I haven't forgiven myself for doing this. Now, Todd's class is repeating my cycle and I will NOT let myself repeat the cycle. There's one boy that seems to get the brundt of all the teasings. Mind you, he DOES do gross things. In fact, I laugh before I've had a chance to even say it, last week I was sitting on the lunch table with this boy and was trying to get my own son to join me...he wouldn't. THE SHAME!!!! He said, "Mom, I've seen for myself what he does in the bathroom." Now, you're all probably thinking what I was thinking. He whispered to me, just make sure you wash your hands when you leave. Turns out, this boy had been splashing toilet water at other kids. Yes, gross. But there is a reason he does this. I told Todd he just wants attention and the only time he seems to get it is when he does these gross things. I told him, give him attention when he's doing good stuff so he doesn't have to resort to the toilet...or licking other kids...or well, you get it. Todd discovered that this boy doesn't do gross things to you when you're his his friend, so he and his best friend asked him if they could be his friend. Why do I tell this story? I'm seeing how difficult it is to be a 4th grader. This is when popularity starts becoming important (anybody else have cheerleader tryouts in 4th grade so we could cheer for the boys playing football at recess?). This is when identities are forming. This is when we start turning into little grown-ups. I hope my little grown-up turns into a good grown-up; one who cares about others...one who feels like making fun of others is a waste of his time...one who would never make someone cry on purpose...Am I that kind of person? Oh, I sure hope so.