The Mother's Day Project
It was the girls who oohed and aahed over the extra art supplies in the classroom. There were paints and paper, paste and safety scissors, yarn and lace, chenille stems, buttons beads, baubles, and many colors of crayons on the project tables.
A daycare Star Trek story by Ster Julie
Spockie eyed the assortment curiously.
"Are you taking inventory, Mr. Roddenberry?" he asked.
"What's in-va-tory?" Jimmy whispered.
"That's when you count up all the stuff you have," Spockie replied quietly.
"No, Spock," Mr. R replied. "Today we will make gifts for Mother's Day."
"Yay!" the girls cried.
"Mug-aah!" Pavel cooed.
"What's Mother's Day?" Spockie asked. A gasp went up from the other children.
"Ye don't know about Mudder's Day?" Montie asked incredulously.
"May he don't gots a mother," Lennie teased. "Maybe he just hatched from an egg."
Spockie crossed his arms and gave Lennie a dark look.
Chrissie poked Lennie as the others giggled.
"That's not nice, Lennie," she corrected. "Spockie has a real pretty mommy."
"Yeah," Hikaru chimed in. "She's been her a coupla times."
"Mother's Day," Mr. R explained patiently, "is an Earth custom. One day a year, everyone honors his or her mother."
"How?" Spock asked, putting Lennie's teasing behind him.
"Oh, there are many traditions," Mr. R continued. "Some people give cards, gifts, special foods, and such. They make a point of being extra kind."
"We should always be kind, every day, especially to our mommies," Spockie observed.
"Yes," Mr. R concurred.
"It's kinda like an extra birfday party for your mommy," Jimmy helped to explain.
"We don't celebrate birthdays on Vulcan," Spockie stated. Another gasp.
"No birfdays?" Jimmy breathed.
"They prolly don't gots Christmas or Easter neither," Lennie sneered.
"Spock," Mr. R continued, "you're right in saying we should be kind to our parents every day instead of just one day a year. However, our activity for today will be to make a gift for our mothers."
"Even you, Mr. R?" Nyota asked sweetly.
"Even me," he answered. The girls put their hands to their mouths and giggled at the thought of Mr. R having a mommy at his age. "Let's get started, shall we? Everyone close your eyes. Think about your mother. What does she like? What is her favorite color? What would she like to receive from you?" He gave the children time to think as an aide took little Pavel to the tables. The toddler was soon up to his elbows in red paint. "Alright, open your eyes. What ideas did you get?"
Lennie's hand shot up.
"I want to decorate a flower pot where Mommy can grow the plants she likes," he said.
"Very good, Lennie," Mr. R responded. "Go get your apron and the aide will get you started."
"Ah want ta build a box where m'mudder can save her special things," Monte said.
"Good, Montie," Mr. R said, suppressing a shudder as he anticipated the noise of wood being pounded together. "Go get your apron."
"I want to make Mommy a purty necklace," Hikaru announced.
"Good. Go get your apron."
Nyota tugged on Mr. R's sleeve.
"Do you have any cloth?" she asked. "I want to make Mommy a shawl and put my handprints all over it, so I can give her a hug every time she wears it." Mr. R smiled warmly.
"That's a wonderful idea, Nyota," he replied. "I'm sure she'll love it."
Chrissy jumped up. "I'm gonna make a real nice card," she announced.
"We will all make cards this afternoon," Mr. R explained. "What else would you like to make?"
Chrissy put her finger on her lip as she thought.
"How 'bout a picher frame?" she suggested.
"Very good," Mr. R smiled.
The daycare director turned to the last two boys.
"What ideas do you two have?" he asked.
Spockie and Jimmy looked at each other despondently.
"My mommy likes the beach," Jimmy began.
"My mommy likes the ocean!" Spockie declared as he looked at Jimmy in surprise.
"But how do you make that?" Jimmy puzzled.
Mr. R smiled warmly. "Come and see," he directed. Jimmy and Spockie donned their art aprons and followed Mr. R to the worktables. He placed two odd-shaped bottles with stoppers, two liquids, two different kinds of blue dye, some sand and some small shells in front of the boys. He helped them both to open the bottles, add a small amount of sparkling sand and a few small shells to each, then pour some of the first liquid into the bottles until they were half full. After adding a drop of the first blue dye, he had the boys gently stir the mixture until the liquid was a uniform blue. Next he had the boys tint the second liquid and fill the bottles to the very top. He secured the stoppers and sealed them with wax.
"There you are, boys," Mr. R said.
Jimmy and Spockie looked at the bottles with the lighter blue liquid on top, darker blue liquid below it, with a layer of sand and shells at the bottom.
"What is it?" Jimmy asked as Spockie raised a brow. In answer, Mr. R put a bottle in Jimmy's hands horizontally and encouraged Spockie to do the same. He guided Jimmy's hands to gently rock the bottle.
Soon the two liquids were sloshing side to side, making waves and breakers with the sand and shells gently tossing to and fro.
"What do you think it is?" Mr. R asked the two enraptured boys.
"The ocean!" they cried as one.
"Mommy will like this," Spockie said softly as the waves sloshed to and fro. "It will be a good Mother's Day present."
"Do we hafta give these to our mommies?" Jimmy asked, mesmerized by the tidal waves in the bottle.
Spockie studied the action in the bottles "How come the liquids don't mix, Mr. R?" Spockie asked after a while.
"One is oil and one is water," Mr. R explained. "They are so different from each other that they cannot mix together."
"Not ever?" Spockie asked.
"Even we shook 'em up real hard?" Jimmy added.
"Not even then," Mr. R replied. "You could get them down to the smallest bits and they would never mix. They would only stay side by side."
The boys watched their bottles.
"They work together well side by side," Spockie observed, looking over at Jimmy.
"They look real purty side by side," Jimmy concurred, looking at Spockie.
Spockie smiled at Jimmy with his eyes. He knew his friend wasn't talking about the bottles -or- the liquids.