Suzy has been talking about mermaids since the first day of school.
In fact, when we discussed our hopes and dreams for the year she was the one who wanted to learn how to be a mermaid. In ALL honesty. In Kid Writing she draws and writes about mermaids almost every day. Her commitment to the mermaid culture is apparently contagious, as several of the other girls in the class who have admired her “mermaidness” have decided to join her club and now THEY draw about mermaids every single day.
It was during Show and Tell last week when Suzy took the coveted spot in the rocking chair.
“These are my two favorite mermaids. I got them last year, I sleep with them every, every night, and I play with them every day. Are there any questions or comments?” And a billion hands flew up. ("Do you sleep with it???" No one listens.)
Upon the completion of Show and Hell, the children all played with their various sharing items and it was basically a free for all. (Par for the course.)
I gave them time to explore the new toys, and then let them know it was time to clean up and prepare to go to lunch. Suzy grabbed the mermaids from her “mermaids in waiting” and ran up to me panting.
“Mrs. Smythe!” she yelled, as she thrust the two mermaids towards me. “I want you to send my mermaids to Japan with the other stuff.”
I looked at her, stunned. “Are you SURE, Suzy? Think about it. I know how much they mean to you.”
She smiled a huge smile, and said “YEAH! I want to give them to the kids in Japan who lost their stuff!”
She turned, walked toward the mountain of supplies and toys donated by the kids, and placed them gently on top. She turned toward me, smiled a HUGE smile, and ran away.
And while I KNOW that we don’t run in the classroom, I watched her run across the room with a tear in my eye. That gesture, that tiny gesture, spoke to me.
That is the kind of stuff you can’t really teach. THAT gesture, that kindness comes from within. You know?
Now pass a tissue. It still chokes me up.