I spent much of this week installing a new fire alarm
in a chruch
which operates its own pre-school. The school is in the lower level, and so is my panel. Much of the work takes place inside a mechanical room, out of site and mind where I can put on my radio, listen to NPR
and work away undisturbed. But sooner or later you must tie into the existing system, which happened to be out in the hallway the kids pass through on their way to the playground
, and other such delights. I had to work in the hall, and the kids passed by led by an attentive team of young mothers, er staff.
I kept quiet and smiled at people. Kids are naturally curious, and a few must have asked what I was doing. A school official of indeterminate title asked me if I would explain to the kids what I was doing.
Naturally I said yes, so the next time a class paraded by me the teachers stopped them, turned them to face me and told men, "The nice man has agreed to tell you what he's doing? Would you like to ask him?"
Kids that age are full of enthusiasm when they're not full of sugar. So they all said yelling "Yeah" and other affirmations. So I told them about the new fire alarm, assured the teachers it would be just as loud as the old one, and explained that I was running condiut to hold the wires I would need to pull. I explained that we use conduit to do more then carry water, and they shouldn't touch wires in a box, unless they were a professional like me.
One little blonde boy in the front row raised his hand politely, so I called on him. I was expecting some question about alarms or wires, but instead he asked, "Did you know we're going to an apple farm?"
No I did not, and told him so. I asked him if they were going to pick apples.
A bunch of kids jumped up and down and screamed yes, and bounced around for a minute before the adults led them off. I have ometimes wondered why my parents didn't turn homicidal during my childhood. But these kids were so darned cute that I began to understand why my mother never strangled me. A little bit of of this every day could make up for a whole bunch of tantrums, messes and other problems. Really, there is nothing more adorable then a curious child.