Spreading Easter Joy Goes Both Ways
Real Mom of O'Fallon has learning experience on son's field trip.
Earlier this week I was selected to be one of the chaperone’s for my son’s class field trip. This wasn’t your average field trip where the kids are out having fun exploring the sights of our city, but rather a service trip to educate the children on social justice.
Like every parent, I want my children to have respect for all people, regardless of age, ability or status. When I heard that my son would be visiting Park Place Senior Living at Winghaven to spread some Easter joy with the residents of the assisted living community, I was thrilled to be a part of it. As I’ve shared previously, my boys are at an age where their innocence and honesty leads to them saying things that may be hurtful or disrespectful. I knew this field trip would be a great way to teach my son compassion for the elderly.
Upon arrival to Park Place, we were greeted by many excited residents. The agenda for the morning consisted of the children performing a short musical program, followed by an Easter egg hunt and then finally the children coloring a picture with the residents. As one of the chaperones, I was on “crayon holding duty” for the students while they performed for the residents.
During the performance, one of the residents came over to me and took the crayons right out of my hands. She thought I was one of the teachers and she scolded me saying that “the children need to have fun today and not worry about school work.” How sweet was this lady? Little did she know that the crayons would be for “fun” in just a few short minutes.
As much as the children were excited to show off their singing and coloring talents, the residents were equally excited to show off their egg hiding skills. They had prepared the Easter egg hunt for the children, and it was obvious they took great joy in hiding all of the eggs themselves.
One of the residents who I’ll call “Bob” was a professional magician in his glory days. He spent the majority of the coloring and social time demonstrating and teaching the children all of his magic tricks. To say he was the life of the party would be an understatement. He was certainly sharing his joy and excitement with all of the students.
That’s when it hit me, the residents at Park Place were really touched by our visit. They are in a place in their life where they probably won’t be hiding eggs for their grandchildren or great-grandchildren this Easter. This was their chance to share Easter joy with the children. All along I thought we would be the ones bringing Easter joy to them, when actually the residents had so much joy and excitement to share with the children, too.
While the purpose of the field trip was to educate on social justice and put teaching into action, I would have to say that there was quite a bit of fun had as well. When I asked my son what his favorite part of the field trip was, he told me that it was learning the “cool magic tricks from Bob.” In my book, I’d say that the trip was a success!
My son learned from “Bob” that no matter what age a person is, there is always something to learn from our elderly and we must respect the life and dignity of every human person. I even learned a thing or two myself. Seeing the residents made me realize I need to savor these moments with my children because time is flying and they are growing up really fast. The other thing I learned is that Park Place is really nice, and if my boys ever have to move me into a Senior Living Community someday I’d be happy there!
Lastly, I want to wish all of you and your families a very happy and blessed Easter Holiday.