The SmartestSecond Graders

Dear Friends of Switchback, 

The last few weeks, Brian and I were out in Northeastern Iowa, playing around 20 schools. This opportunity was due to the Dubuque Arts Council, a group of citizens whose mission has been to promote the arts in education in the region that makes up Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin.   
Each day, we would head off across the Iowa countryside to find ourselves unloading gear at a school and setting up in a gymnasium. You could tell that not only the kids were excited about seeing us play, but so were the teachers. For many schools, this was the first chance to have a program like ours after the long two years of Covid lockdowns.  
The kids themselves were quiet, attentive and respectful. There was an air of novelty about it all, as if the pandemic reset some sort of attitude about education. We were there not only to teach, but to express our joy of being entertainers. To inspire, uplift and unite.   
Since Aine is in second grade, I joked with each school that “second graders know everything” and indeed on some level they do.  
Adults have a funny way of unlearning some of the beautiful understanding that came naturally as kids. We tend to forget how perceptive children are at picking up on everything that is going on not only in the world, but our homes. Our mistakes, our arguments, our beliefs and actions are readily observed by our children.  
Children naturally assume that things are going to be alright, that everyone has something good to offer and that love of one another is as natural as breathing air. It was refreshing to see such children, hopeful and happy.  
Brian and I received a thank you letter. It read “Dear Switchback, Thank you for coming to our school to perform. We hope you come back soon! We really enjoyed it! From the smartest second graders.”
My hope is that we all tap into our second grader and see the world not for what it is, but what it should be. 
Thank you for making it a WayGood World!