Wednesday, October 9, 2013

What would you wish for?

One of my kinders said something that stayed with me today. It dug a little hole in the bottom of my heart and just stayed there. It's a heavy thing -- it's weighing me down just a little bit.

Most of the times, my little ones say funny things... things that make me laugh inside (or sometimes out loud). Or innocent things that remind me just how naive they are in their darling view of the world. Or just cute things like how much they like my necklace or how the tire swing looks like a tornado or how today at school was the best. day. ever.

But, sometimes they say things that break your heart. 

We were reading a book before our "big buddies" came to visit our classroom. When we finished our book, our buddies hadn't arrived yet. So, I was filling a few minutes while we waited by having a mini-discussion (we, teachers, get really amazing at filling 5 minutes here and there all day long). There was a shooting star on the back cover of the book, so I told the kinders how some people like to make wishes on shooting stars. Here's how it went:

Mrs. A: "What would YOU wish for if you saw a shooting star?"

Student 1: "I wish ice cream didn't melt." [How awesome is this little guys?! Genius!]

Student 2: "I wish my brothers would be nice to me all the time."

Student 3: "I wish I could fly."

Student 4: "I wish Halloween was everyday."

They all had cute little wishes. Ahhh, the innocence of childhood. Well, then comes the heart-breaker...

Student 5: "I wish my dad would read me books at night." 
Mrs. A: "What do you mean?"
Student 5: "You know, like at bedtime."

Ugh. I can't stop thinking about the way he said it. So serious, so genuine, and so very sad. Here I had a class full of 19 kids wishing for candy, never-melting ice cream, puppies, and new Transformers. And one little guy who simply wants to be read to.

Our big buddies arrived immediately after he shared his wish, so we quickly moved on to reading books. But, that sad little wish didn't leave my heart. Not five minutes after and not tonight either. That's the thing about parenting -- there's laws that say you have to clothe your child, bring them to school, feed them breakfast, and take them to the doctor. But, there's no law saying you have to be a great parent. There's no such thing as educational or literacy neglect. 

Every child deserves to be read to. I know he doesn't need it -- but he sure deserves it. Every child deserves to wish for ice cream, kittens, and super powers.

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