Sunday, March 13, 2011

Are There Whales in Montana?

One of my young kindergartners is a live wire.  He skitters like a droplet of water on a hot skillet.  The energy just emanates and sizzles.  He always has a smile.   Every morning I see his grandpa pull-up.  I watch as the boy runs to the school door.  He’s always in hyper drive.  Slow is not in his vocabulary.  Neither is quiet.

In the afternoon his grandpa is waiting as he runs through the doors.  Smiling up into his grandpa’s face I see him rapidly spilling out the day’s happenings.  I imagine his words running over themselves as they hurry to escape.  He wants to share everything with his grandpa as quickly as he can.  His grandpa is raising him.

He shares snippets of his life as he flashes past me.  “My grandpa quit smoking, so he can live longer for me.

I have never heard about a grandma. Pieces of the story zing past, his father lives elsewhere.  Now he lives with grandpa. 

He loves to hear stories.  His exuberance is contagious.  I read the “Three Bears” last month.  I asked who had previously heard the story, only a few hands went up.  The boy with eyes the size of saucers, claps and at full volume, “You have to listen, the story is AWESOME!”

When I read a story he is familiar with he retells in a staccato rhythm as I read it to the class.  He just can’t help himself.  I now choose books that he can echo as I read.

Friday he excitedly shared that he and his grandpa were going fishing.  Then with candor, “My grandpa’s fishing pole can catch a whale.  A really big one.”

For landlocked Montana that is a "good day's fishing".  I know that in the boy’s eyes his grandpa is bigger than life.   

As he runs through the door, the air whooshes out leaving a vacuum of silence in his wake.


  1. You just described on of my first graders and did it so positively. I love my little boy too. He is so full of life and so exhausting. There must be a lot of love in that grandpa's heart.

  2. "He skitters like a droplet of water on a hot skillet." What a great line. I just smile through this whole slice. You really captured the energy of this little boy and his admiration and love for his grandpa.

    Happy Writing

  3. What a ball of energy! I love your description of him. I like the same line as Deb but also "his words running over themselves as they hurry to escape."
    He is so lucky to have you, someone to see the positive side of him and nurture him in the right direction.

  4. Oh my goodness, you brought me to tears! My grandson has just such a relationship with his grandfather, my husband. While he doesn't live with us, he lives near by and I remember those days when he was younger and how excited he was to stay with us, so he could spend some quality Grampy time. It's so interesting to view how their relationship must look to others. Thank you!

  5. What a wonderful telling of this relationship! Your words just showed the delight you feel about this child. Have you told the grandpa what you see?

  6. I think this would be a wonderful slice to share with his grandfather.

  7. What a great slice! I felt like I was in your classroom with you. Great slice and thank you for sharing him with us!

  8. I have not shared this writing yet with the grandpa. But I think I will. Thank you for the wonderful suggestion.

  9. Ruth, goosebumps cluttered my arms as I read about this little kiddo. You have a gift for writing - clean and concise! Keep telling the stories that remind us (me) of why we (I) went into teaching. Kudos!


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