Friday, January 7, 2011

Molly B' golly

At first he said "no." "I am not going to the nursing home and getting a grandpa or grandma for a partner.   No." His mournful eyes welled with tears as he tried to explain, but words weren't necessary.  Having lost his best ball playing buddy, his grandpa, just a month prior to the start of school, it was no surprise Colton wasn't in the market for a replacement.  The unsigned permission slip sat on the counter for weeks.  His teacher encouraged us to take our time and just see if he'd come around.

Mrs. Larson has participated in a service learning project for years. Once a week her class goes to the nursing home and the students are paired with an elderly "partner." They play bingo, or work on crafts or play other games for an hour. Our kids learn how to be of "service" to another who in most cases have less ability than our kids do. Sometimes the kids have to repeat directions that went unheard, or they need to get the big grip scissors for cutting, or they have to read to their partners.

The day the class was scheduled to take a tour of the nursing home, Colton heard they got to ride the bus. He reluctantly decided he'd tour the facility. Two rides later, and one candy bar secured in his hands, he came home and grabbed the permission slip. He'd give it a try. "But I don't want to hug anyone and Mrs. Larson said I don't have to."

It was a rocky start.  His first partner, Evelit, slept most of the hour away, not giving Colton much of a chance to interact with her.  He was less reluctant to keep going.  But shortly thereafter he got a new partner.  I knew it was going to be a better match when he said "her name is Molly,  Molly b' Golly" and he broke into a little grin with just a hint of a nose crinkle.

They've been inseparable ever since.  My month to volunteer is January and I got to go for the first time yesterday.  By golly, I met Molly.  She is soft spoken and can't hear very well.  I tried to talk with her a little, but they were playing a mean game of bingo, and she and Colton were highly engrossed.  Molly could cover her own numbers, but she couldn't always hear them.  So she would look to Colton to tell her the numbers and help her look for them if she got behind.  When Molly got a bingo, Colton clapped excitedly for her and happily took her card up and read her numbers.  If the students won they got a little rubber duck.  If the partners won, they got a dime.

The hour flew by.  I asked for a quick photo as we were leaving.   As I waited for the flash to go off on my camera, I missed the first photo op.  Molly threw her arms around Colton, and without hesitating, he hugged her right back.  She then slid her dime over to him and with a soft voice told him something.  I turned around just in time to see the crinkle in his nose as he waved goodbye.


  

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25 comments:

  1. Great service and learning experience! Our schools do the same here.

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  2. I think I know her!!!!!!!!! A few years ago one of my students interviewed her Grandma Molly about the Great Depression and played the video in class. She was a hoot! Could this be her?????
    Is she from near Barnesville?

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  3. Bonnie, I have no idea where she is from? I'll have to check it out next week when I go! How cool that you might know her!

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  4. You know Leiton went yesterday too and he won a bingo and got a rubber duckie. I asked him if he had a partner and with near tears in his eyes he said no. The other weeks he has said he hasn't had a partner either and has a different excuse each time such as another boy took his partner and what have you....I wish I could volunteer to see what goes on. He does like going there. His grandma (Steve's mom) has been there since he was born but I believe she is on a different floor. Cute picture of Colton and Ms. Molly!

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  5. I love this kind of story - I used to take mini horses around to nursing homes and the way their faces lit up to see a part of the vibrant world outside come in to greet them was just awesome. This is a great experience for both of them :-)

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  6. So glad this worked out for Colton. A little tear came to my eye as I scrolled to the picture. My mom had a sweater very similar to Molly's.

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  7. What a wonderful blog....a story that I read with anticipation...wondering if Colton would go...learning that he met Molly B'Golly...and tearing up when I read that they hugged. What a fabulous blog, Vicky...and I am so thankful for Colton, Colton's teacher, and Colton's Mama....
    Love to you,
    Jackie

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  8. That gave me chills!!! Bless his sweet innocent little heart after all he has been through in the past few months!

    You have a FINE boy on your hands :)

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  9. I just want to give that sweet nephew of mine a big hug!!

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  10. What a wonderful story and beautiful ending, Vicky. I think it is so nice that Colton's teacher does something like that with her class. I remember singing at nursing homes and how much the residents loved it. :0)

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  11. That is awesome that he came around and formed a great friendship! Too cute!

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  12. This is the Sweetest Story! You have a wonderful son!

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  13. I think that is so great Vicky that Colton is doing service at the local nursing home. What a great way to show your kids how to give their time to someone who needs companionship. Colton will always remember his visits with Molly.

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  14. This is a very good thing Colton's teacher is doing.
    and it's also great for the seniors to have young people around.This should be encouraged.
    If every school went to spend an hour or so it makes the day go by much happier.

    Getting a hug from Molly must have meant a lot to him.:)

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  15. Thanks for sharing a wonderful story.
    May I be your follower? :)

    TOTA

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  16. Tota, welcome, would love to have you as a follower :)

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  17. Vicky it IS my former student's grandma!!!! I gave her your link. She was thrilled beyond belief.

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  18. Sounds like they were both blessed. Reaching out to someone else goes along way in coping with sadness and the fears in our own heart. I bet you were so proud of him and so happy to see how nice that time was for both of them.

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  19. How sweet....just super sweet!!!

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  20. That is the most wonderful thing...he is so cute and she is such a sweetie, I want her for my grandma. What a special thing for him! ;D

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  21. Bonnie! OMG- what a coincidence!! How awesome that we can know a little more about Colton's adopted Grandma :) I'll be seeing her again soon!

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  22. What a great opportunity for Colton! On a different note, I am pretty sure I know this church in your picture! We pass it everytime we go to the lake--on Hwy 34 right? It glows blue at night! Hope the four ol'neighbors are well! ~Skatvold Five

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  23. So very sweet Vicky. I think it's great for kids to interact and learn from our senior citizens. I love that picture of the two of them smiling together. Wonderful!

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  24. Oh, God bless Molly b'golly for mending his sweet heart a little at a time. I'm so grateful he was paired with a grandma... makes it feel less like a replacement, I'm sure.

    I love his sweet heart.

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