Kindergarteners find the joy in the minutiae of everyday life–which is a good reminder for all of us, I think.
Today I met up with some of my former students and their families to have a mid-summertime hello and to choose some new books for more summer reading. Thankfully, the sun was cooperating and the picnic tables were conveniently staged under a huge shade tree!
One of my students, I’ll refer to her as ‘B’, walked up with her family, bursting with something to tell me. I could see her smile had something to tell– even though she needed to let some of the “it’s-been-a-month-since-I’ve-seen-you” shyness fade away.
We looked at some books together and I made some suggestions of ones I thought she may like. ‘B’ found the blank journals I had brought and quickly chose one along with a few books that she was excited about. I could sense by her smile and her steady stare that she was ready to tell me something, but knowing ‘B’, she would surely talk when she was ready!
And then it finally came out:
“Take your glasses off again. You look so funny.”
Here’s the backstory:
When school was in session, ‘B’ watched me like a hawk. Every move I made, every word I spoke, she hung on to like a leaf clinging to it’s tree in a fierce autumn wind. She noticed everything. If I stumbled on a word in a read aloud, ‘B” said: “you’re crazy, Mr. Garvert.” If I took a drink from my water bottle, ‘B’ asked why I was always so thirsty. She would even cajole her classmates into her antics of teacher-watching.
I was usually unaware of how intently ‘B’ was watching me until her laughter spilled out in buckets and buckets of non-stop giggles.
One day in particular, at the beginning of the school year, ‘B’ burst out in a giggle-fit like none I had ever seen before. I had absolutely no idea what I had done this time to cause such a ruckus—until she calmed down and said…
“You look so funny without your glasses. Take them off again!”
I had slipped off my glasses to give them a quick cleaning with my shirt—just an everyday thing, right?- and little Miss ‘B’ was watching (of course!) and found it to be the best thing–maybe only comparable to cupcakes with three inches of rainbow frosting on top.
It made me happy on this summer day when I saw ‘B’, took my glasses off just for her, and heard the giggles swirl around in the warm breeze.
It’s the little things.
And we need more of them.