My wife and I have been doing the music for Children’s Church for about two months now. Â It’s a 20-minute block of time where we lead them in songs before the speaker of the day comes up. Â I lead and click the PowerPoint slides through, and Megan plays the piano. Â The age group is 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders, a group I don’t really know much about.
I don’t know many of their names yet. Â I have difficulty learning names in general, and in a group of 50-60 kids I don’t see much outside of these 20 minutes once a week it’s that much harder. Â I know one 4th grader because she’s the daughter of friends of mine. Â There are four other kids that I also see in Tae Kwon Do, and I think I have their names down, but two of them are twins, so I’m not sure entirely if I know which of them is which.
We’ve been trying to engage the kids in conversation when they first get there, to try to get to know them a bit more and pick up on more names. Â Sometimes it takes a while for all three grades to get there, so one week we might get to talk to the third graders a bit more until the 4th and 5th graders arrive, another week it might be the 4th graders.
This past Sunday the 4th graders got there first. Â We were talking at the piano about the songs and one of the kids came up to the piano – the first time that’s happened, I’m pretty sure. Â She was very excited:
“I got my ears pierced and my sister is letting me wear her earrings!”
I’ve never been a little girl, but I’m told that getting one’s ears pierced is a big event. Makes sense she would be excited about telling us that. Â And her older sister letting her wear her earrings? Â Also very much a big event.
I’m still figuring out how to talk to kids. Â I know they’re humans and all, but I feel so far removed from that age that they might as well be little ETs. Â I am learning, though, that asking questions is a good thing. Â So I said something about how that was neat and that the earrings were very pretty, and then I asked, “How long ago did you get your ears pierced?”
Her answer sums up why I’m having trouble figuring kids out. Â If someone my own age says “I did this and this” in the same sentence, I can pretty much assume those two events are related, if by nothing else than at least by timeframe – “I went to Wisconsin and got some cheese,” “I went on a hike and got poison ivy,” “I got a new skateboard and went to the hospital” – these all make perfect sense to me. Â Her response, though, tells me I’ve got a ways to go before I understand kids:
“Oh, last year.”