Something to Smile About

In the wake of tragedy, it’s often hard to find something to smile about. Those who spend significant amounts of time with children have the blessing of being able to build a wealth of information about the way kids tick.

In The New York Times, first-grade teacher Joanne Strongin and writer Michael Winerip compiled a list of 25 things they have learned about first graders. A few standouts include:

“First graders love to tell visitors to their classroom that they do not take naps after lunch like little baby kindergartners.”

“First-grade boys skip when they’re happy.”

“First graders love coming to school.”

“First graders fall out of their chairs.”

“First graders think their teachers know everything and love their parents unconditionally.”

To add to the list, here are some of the best things kids have said to me:

David was a pint-sized, inner-city kindergartener who liked to act tough – and could not pronounce the letter “L”. When I once asked him what he was going to do that weekend, he responded, “Oh, you know, chiyy out, reyax, and do some push-ups.”

Luther was a young boy in my swim class. During one lesson, he arrived at the wall after kicking on his back for about 10 yards, looked up at me and let me know that “dragons only live in England because that’s where the castles are.” I was happy to know he was concentrating hard on his kicking that whole time.

I went to my job as a summer camp counselor one day with a face swollen from sun poisoning, and with particularly puffy eyes. By the afternoon, the effect had lessened, and Kameron, a kindergartener who was busy drawing Sponge Bob, suddenly looked up at me and exclaimed, “Miss Abby! Your eyes growed back!”

We’d love to hear the lessons you’ve learned from your children, or the ways they make you smile. Please share below.