A Moment #sol21
I come around the corner with my cart. I’m thinking about the kindergarteners I’ve left and the meeting approaching. There in front of me coming down the hall is Andrea, she’s smiling. Next to her is one of her readers, Michael, clutching a paper book like it’s the most important thing in the world.
Immediately recognizing that look, that feeling, I greet them.
Mrs. Kennedy, we are so glad we found you. Do you have time to hear Michael read his book?
I can’t think of a better way to spend my time.
Of course! Michael do you want to come into my room to read?
Michael has never been inside the literacy center so he peers in skeptically.
Ok, he says.
Where should we sit? How about here?
The two of us sit side by side at my moon table. For a moment I think, when is the last time I did this?
His teacher sits a few feet away at the next table.
Michael spreads the book out in front of him. I recognize it right away, a decodable book called The Mess.
Oh, The Mess, Michael! That’s a great book. Let’s hear it!
Michael begins to read.
His voice is a little shaky. He halts frequently, looking up at his teacher, who nods encouragement.
She says go on, her voice brimming with love and pride.
Word by word, phrase by phrase, he points those small fingers firmly under each word.
I can see the white spread out in his fingertips from the pressure.
He takes a breath. He keeps going.
Time suspends and the three of us are joined in this moment, this activity, this accomplishment.
Word my word, phrase by phrase, a page turn, Michael continues to read. Each word just right.
Until then, the last word on the last page.
I sigh. What a perfect moment. How fortunate I am to share it with him, with her.
I think, I would high five, but that’s out. Then what?
I’m not sure he’ll know a forearm bump. Finally, I clap.
He looks up beaming right into my face. He jumps to his feet.
He rushes forward in one swift movement and…
HUGS me… tightly.
We all gasp.
Arms around my neck, I feel the joy seep in.
I want to weep, I’m so happy.
Happy about the reading, his joy, and…
the first child hug in so, so long.