The roses were beautiful, and the scented air around Aisha was heady and seductive. As Aisha walked around her garden, the beauty of all the flowers she had planted took her breath away. Today she was teaching a group of kindergartners how to plant a flower seed. A teacher had approached her last week about the beauty of her garden, and asked her if she could plan a field trip for her class. Aisha, touched by interest in her garden, readily agreed. The kids were about to be here, and Aisha was making sure the garden was safe for the little ones while they were there.
Hearing the high-pitched squeal of bus breaks, Aisha headed up to the gate and stood, waiting for the teacher and kids to unload. The teacher, a pretty blond named Carrie, was asking the kids to line up as they exited the bus, and for two young boys to stop horse playing. Now that they were all out of the bus and lined up, Aisha addressed the group of little children.
Aisha’s interactions with her nieces and nephews had taught her a lot, and she knew how to engage with small children. She wanted this to be fun and informative for the visiting kids, and had prepared an area for them to plant seeds, water them, run around, and have snacks afterward.
“Hello, you guys! Thanks for coming to my garden today! I am Miss Aisha, and I want you to ask questions you have, don’t be shy!” She started leading the way through the garden, and at the roses, she stopped. “These are roses. You can smell them if you like, but there are thorns on the stems so be careful as you touch them.” The kids took turns smelling the one Aisha held out, and then she continued leading the group through the garden.
Once the tour of the flowers and plants ended, Aisha led the children to the area she had ready to plant seeds. The kids were busy playing in the dirt, making little holes Aisha had taught them to make. A girl came over to Aisha and tugged on her dress. Looking down at the girl and smiling, she waited for her to speak.
Miss Aisha, why do you have so many different flowers here? Why not just grow just the pretty ones, like roses?” Aisha took the girls hand, and walked to a small bench and sat with the girl. “What’s your name, sweetie?” “Sarah,” she said, smiling shyly. “Well, Sarah. I want you to look at all your friends over there.” She pointed to the group of kids that were still busy planting seeds. “See, all of us have different names, and we are all different sizes, colors and even shapes, right?” The little girl nodded, her cute curls bouncing as she did.
“So, by having all the different plants and flowers here, all together, they are all still beautiful and have a different affect on the garden. Some attract bees. Some attract butterflies. Just like flower and plants, all of us as an individual impact the world, and we all live together in the same space. I an’t choose between a rose or a tulip’s beauty any more than I could say you are prettier than another little girl. It is important to always see every flower and plant individually, what it offers the garden to strengthen it, and learn from how flowers live together in harmony. These plants and flowers have a lot to teach mankind , don’t you think?“ Sarah may be young, but Aisha hoped her word would stay with the little girl forever. She stood, and gave Sarah a little hug, and said, “Now, Sarah, how about some snacks?” Sarah wiggled on the bench, excited, and stood up, too. “Yeah!”
Aisha walked to the snack area, and had all the kids use the water hose to wash up, then had them sit at the picnic tables set up in the garden. “Who wants worms?” The kids groaned, and laughed when Aisha presented snack-size bags of gummy worms. She then took out a plate of cookies in the shape of leafs and flowers. There was a plate of crumbled Oreo cookies, and she had placed gummy worms in it. Using celery sticks filled with peanut butter, she had placed two mini pretzels into each stick to make butterflies. The kids loved the snacks, and were flying their celery sticks around each others heads before eating them.
Carrie was busy, taking pictures of the kids, and came to show all the photos to Aisha. There were kids, bent or sitting on the ground, poking holes or placing seeds in the ground, and each kid was holding up seeds before planting them. “Aisha, this has been the most fun they have had in a while, and the snacks you set up were the highlight of their day. Thank you so much for doing this. Will you be open to more field trips?” Aisha and her discussed the possibilities and would get together another time to discuss future field trips.
Carrie and Aisha got the kids to wash up again, then once they cleaned all little hands and faces up, it was time to load up on the bus. As each child walked past Aisha, she handed them each a goodie bag, filled with more gummy worms, flowers and seed packets to plant at home, they gave her a hug and told her how much fun they had had. Sarah was the last in line, and after hugging Aisha, told her, “Miss Aisha, I learned a lot here today. I will tell my mamma and daddy how we are all like flowers in a big garden, and we need to learn to be more like flowers in a garden. We all look and smell different, but we each have value.” Sarah, you are the smartest little girl I ever met. Always remember what you have learned today.” With that, she watched Sarah get on the bus, walk to a seat and sit. As the bus pulled away, Aisha waved at the kids and felt she had taught an important lesson all could learn from.