At Least SOMEONE'S Kids Are Listening

It's Love Thursday and I just got, like this HUGE pep rally from the Universe. And I say this with the full knowledge of how behind I am in laundry.

First of all, last night, my husband came home with these:

This wasn't TECHNICALLY on Love Thursday but I didn't really see the significance of them until today, so that counts, right?

These flowers did not mean capitulation, nor an apology. (Because if they did, you KNOW I'd have been all, "Wait, excuse me? Would you repeat that? You're WHAT? Here, say it into this recorder so that I can play it in the future when you are being a butthead. Wait, one more time, a little more slowly and distinctly now.")

(So, sue me. It's not like the opportunity comes along near as often as my spouse has the opportunity to hear me say I'm sorry.)

Anyway, they were a present from a man who is big enough and secure enough in our marriage that he can really vehemently disagree with me about something and still love me. And move on. These are, "We agree to disagree and now let's move on" flowers.

I love my husband.

So, THEN, I finished the socks I'd been working on. See?
It's so hard to take decent photos of socks on your own feet so I got a little crazy trying to do something artistic. To wit: Heels Socks From Below
and this one:
Still Sock With Fruit

But then the best thing of all happened:

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I volunteer in my first-grader's class, doing a writer's workshop. I know you're wondering what that entails because I know, *I* had no idea when the teacher approached me to ask if I'd do it. In fact, it's been a little loose--I think we've adjusted the structure to what seems to resonate with the kids. The kids in the class are divided into groups and they rotate through different language arts stations--spelling, journal-time, review with their teacher and then the time they just call Mrs. Cooper Time.

The first couple of weeks, I helped them write letters home about their families. (My favorite quote from this was the little girl who said, "My mom is very nice. She likes to work on the computer and do cleaning." Of course she does.) After that, I started reading to the kids (I am a first rate reader aloud. No, really, even my kids will say so. Sometimes I don't even have to beg!) and then discussing word choices and how writers can paint pictures with their words. For the past week, I have been exposing them to poetry, and how poets explore meter and rhythm and how the word choices can make the reader FEEL something. I told them about free verse. (First I asked them to tell me what they thought that meant. One little boy said, "Like, when you go backwards?")

So, today, as I was talking to my last group, the teacher interrupted me (she has never done this, in all the time I've known her) and said she thought that one of her students wanted to share something with me. She was pretty excited.

So, this one little boy, Daniel, read me a poem he'd written as part of his journal. Here it is:

Green leaves tingling
Leaves growing up to the sky
Cooked into a chef's salad
Served to table five

He's SIX years old! He told me that initially he had written "table three" but then he wanted to repeat the long "i" sound instead.


I was so stunned and amazed and awed. I mean, honestly, most of the time, I'm just talking and trying to create excitement about reading and words but in the back of my mind, there's always this slight fear that I might be sounding like the parents in the Peanuts cartoons: "Wah wah, wah, wah, wah."

Honestly, I was so moved that I seriously considered going back to school and getting my teaching certificate and spending the rest of my years molding budding minds like this... until I remembered that this was just the caffeine talking. (Whew!)


hokgardner said…
What an awesome poem. Great job, Barb. Maybe if I had had someone like you teaching poetry when I was in 1st grade, I'd get poetry today. 'Cause I don't, not one little bit.
Does his family eat out a lot, or what? And is this poem addressing the irony of these beautiful lettuce leaves growing just to be mercilessly plucked and eaten? Or am I just seeing things darkly today?
Anonymous said…
I got goosebumps with that one! And..I have to say, I had no idea you could stand on your head and take a picture at the same time. You truly are gifted! LOL!!
Anonymous said…
very cool indeed!
Damsel said…
ROFLMAO @ "Still sock with fruit". You are one hilarious chick.
Heidi Malott said…
What a poem! Wow! How touching! Things like this just make the world a better place! BTW, nice bouquet and lovely socks. Love the "still sock with fruit" :) What a nice Love Thursday!
MadMad said…
Now that IS a great day! (I LOVED the still life of sock with bananas and the girl writing that her mom likes to do the computer and the cleaning... HYSTERICAL!) Yay for the flowers, too!

(And did you do a handstand to take the upside down one?)