Friday, September 23, 2011

Two Tomatoes

When you put two teachers together, they are bound to eventually talk about education and teaching in some form or another. But those conversations are even better when it is when you get to talk about what makes you excited about the field.

I am beginning to work on my thesis project and wanted to borrow a book from my friend. When I picked it up from her house, she asked me about my project and how it relates to the book I was borrowing. She was a great listener and could not agree more about the importance of developing a rich vocabulary with children of the toddler/preschool group to help them have better success in reading comprehension later down the road. Then my friend showed me a booklet that was sent home with her daughter who just started Kindergarden. It was about the school's approach to teaching handwriting that focuses on directionality in a kid friendly way using picture cues for the lines (sky, grass, ground, and worm levels). I asked her if she would mind if I flipped through it, commenting that I knew I was being such a teacher dork. She laughed and said not at all. Got to love those envigorating teacher conversations!

As we were having these conversations hanging on the door knob, her kids bounced into the living room to greet me. Little Bear regailed her story about riding her bike without her training wheels for the first time, complete with twirling kicks and spins (in the story telling, not the bike riding). She was quiet proud, as she should be! I loved how both of her parents beamed with pride, especially because their daughter was fully owning up to her accomplishments and efforts.

Pickle was just looking up at me with all smiles and my friend commented, "Someone is in love." He then told me about his visit with his neighbor that afternoon. She gave both of the kids three tomatoes and said to be sure to share. He held out the smallest of his three and said, "Here, Miss Jamie, I'm going to share it with you." My friend mouthed, "You might want to wash that when you get home, but you don't have to eat it." It was sufficiently covered in that kid-feel-coating from having been carried all around with him that day. Nice and warm with a slight, sticky tackiness on the surface. I smiled and took his gift as it melted my heart.

Then his sister burst into the scene and said that those were her tomatoes. It's funny how kids know that stuff. My friend asked Pickle to give Little Bear her tomatoes and fished out his true three from the bag without missing a beat. Then Pickle gave me another tiny tomato. As I was returning Little Bear's tomato, she told me to keep it because her neighbor did say to share. I thanked them both for their generocity and said good-bye.

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