Tuesday, October 9, 2007

A*L*P*H*A*B*E*T School

OK, I know I'm biased, but my kids are the coolest kids in the world. (By the way, there are two of them, they're boys, aged 8 and 10) My youngest is a whiz with paper - we always say he can make anything out of paper, scissors, and glue (or a roll of tape, if glue is unavailable), and it is no exaggeration. Today he came home from school, with a backpack full of paper letters he had made at school during free time (I hope). The letters had little ledges to stand upon so they could be upright all on their lonesome. He proceeded to set the letters up in his room and school was open! I could hear him in there , reading to them. Evidently #1 son also heard, and decided it was a good game, because then he was in there teaching the letters math ("Does anyone know what a fraction is? Yes, letter H?") Evidently the letter H is a very intelligent letter, because the teacher couldn't stop talking about how he knew all his fractions, although the lower case letter a was not only having trouble grasping the concept of fractions, he was also acting out in class and had to be punished.

As I stood in the kitchen, packing lunchboxes, listening to this game unfold, it struck me just how great these guys are - they weren't playing a game based on a video game or a TV show, or a movie, or an action figure. It isn't the first time a kid has played school - its how I learned to read - but the idea that the letters of the alphabet needed to be educated themselves, and the creativity they used to implement that, was almost as awe inspiring and exciting as if one of them had just learned to walk, or ride a bike, for the first time. Maybe that sounds hokey; there are certainly days that I feel less than enamoured to be the mother of two boys, but never let it be said that I missed the opportunity to savor the sweet times as well. There aren't that many years left of the sweet, little kid kind of innocence; the adolescent years, I've heard, tend to obscure those sweet little kid moments from a parent's memory. So for the sake of future reference, here is one moment that has been cropped and framed for posterity.

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