Today, like every other day, we had circle, dabbled in a little mathematics via subtraction bingo, worked at writing stories in our story journals, read books using our sound and site techniques.

Then after lunch, we went outside just like every other day. It was hot and when it’s hot, we get out the water and get drenched – no surprises there. But then, out came the Popsicles. The other class was outside but was heading in for second lunch and I only had enough Popsicles for my class.

There were a couple of stragglers from the other class but my class knew what was coming. I was sitting on the wicker love-seat and all my kids were gathered around me like seagulls on the Pier. Thier faces hopeful but patient. We waited and waited and then the song that I’ve been teaching them, “Little Boxes” by Malvina Reynolds, started going around.

Here were a handful of beautiful kids singing this anti-establishment song in the streaming sunshine, all wet, muddy and tattered. Finally everyone from the other class was inside and I got out the icy pops. Everyone wanted red but there was only one red one, so I decided that would be mine.

As they all stood around me, their heads all above me, I had to give in and one by one they all took a bite of the red Popsicle as I held it out for them. I know we shared germs but whatever, it was such a beautiful moment of sharing and community. I couldn’t have loved them more and so I told them so.

That moment will never be again but in our memories. And I can’t help but feel like we’re getting away with something huge – we don’t have to fit into any desk or box or institution. We are free to hang in the sun for three hours and share one, glorious red Popsicle.

Little Boxes by Malvina Reynolds

Little boxes on the hillside,
Little boxes made of ticky-tacky,
Little boxes, little boxes,
Little boxes, all the same.
There’s a green one and a pink one
And a blue one and a yellow one
And they’re all made out of ticky-tacky
And they all look just the same.