I miss it from time to time when I remember the fantastic things that happened. Last night I had one of those dreams where you relive an event accurately like it happened right then. With no strange additions or subtractions. Just a memory. I woke up so happy and had to blog it.
There was a boy with the most perfectly round charlie brown head and a slight lisp. I won't post his name because you just never know (and also this is embarrassing stuff). This boy was a character and a half and I could usually count on him for the levity in my day when he was there. And when he wasn't there I missed him. You could say he was a favorite. I know I shouldn't have had favorites blah blah blah. Every teacher has them or they aren't human. It's just something you smile about later in life. Those are the children that a teacher hopes to someday have children like. I had several different ones I dreamed of having a perfect son made of. If that makes any sense. Anyhow, this particular kid left me speechless with his natural comic ability daily. And the joy of actual joys was that his mother was a kind saintly sweet lady that I could take aside at pick up time and tell her the funny of the day. And she would smile and cringe and sigh all at once. I looked forward to that expected and predictable reaction. She knew her son well and knew how much joy his antics brought me. We had just about the best teacher parent bond ever. Because she appreciated his spirit fully.
Our class curriculum included drawing assignments for the letter we were studying. This boy had a love for building and jumping and playing. Not for drawing. He was clever and came up with what he thought to be a brilliant solution to his "have to get work done before I can go back to building towers" problem. He drew a nut. A single nut. For every flippin letter for a few weeks until I sat down and told him he HAD to be more creative. "This" pointing at his B drawing "is a brown nut". It was in fact a brown nut. But so were the other drawings. "But this" points at the S drawing " is a small nut. He was not wrong, it was smaller than the other ones. I was dying on the inside because his logic and defense were solid and his face so damn serious. Not a con. Totally legit. He agreed to drawing something else for his next letter assignment ( probably so he could get away from me as I was clearly wasting his outside time with talking) and I went on with my day. A week or so later we have the letter N on our board and I died. After a brown nut, a small nut, a round nut, and a large nut I felt like the stars had aligned for N to be one he had to get with the program on.
He drew and drew and drew. Thoughtfully and with purpose. And when he handed in his art it was not colored in but just a simple pencil drawn man. But what? You ask. Man doesn't start with N. That's what I said as he hustled toward the back door putting his jacket on for playground time. And he completely innocently shouts over his shoulder as goes "Nope. It's a naked man".
( name has been blocked out for privacy but man I love the little kid handwriting I had to hide)
It sure was.
You bet your ass I saved this all those years!!! His mom and I had the most ruckus laughter filled talk that afternoon and she insisted I keep it but could I please make her a photocopy for his baby book. I have hung on to this folded up crudely drawn letter N drawing and pinned it near my work station at every job I have had since. Folded closed as not to offend anyone. But right there nearby all the time. So when I had a horrid day in a collections call center I would just see the purple paper ( yep, purple. I don't even know why but I love it) and smile to myself. I have this pinned next to my work bench in the garage now and it serves the same purpose it always has.
Hands down the very best thing I still have from my teaching days. I constantly wonder how all my students are doing now and sometimes I am lucky enough to creep one or two out when the see me pick up my girl (crazy life gave me a stepkid the same age) because they remember me kinda sorta. I think this little guy moved far away but I have no doubt he is somebody wonderful. Though if I remember correctly, he reverted back to the nut drawing solution in our Private Kindergarten program the very next year.
I have a couple more favorite kiddos I want to write about but need the okay from their mommas. But it's worth the wait and I think they will say yes because they want to relive the good times too.
You are welcome.