The Boy With the Red Hair

January is always a busy month at school, and tonight I was tired.  My husband and I had errands to do after school, so we had dinner at a small local restaurant.  Just when I thought I had nothing left, in walked a family and they sat at a big table next to us.  The little boy was a chatterbox to everyone at his table.  He immediately drew a picture of himself on his place mat.  I could definitely see; how could I not notice a very busy, very enthusiastic preschooler, who was very intent on drawing himself?

He was the boy with the red hair.  He told me so.  Funny thing, eye contact and a smile are nothing short of working miracles.  When we caught each others eye and smiled together at a random moment, the boy with the red hair picked up his drawing and came over to show me.  He told me everything, describing his eyes, moustache and beard, and of course his red hair.  I asked if he forgot something, hands and feet.  He firmly announced he had not, and pointed to the lines he had drawn as arms and legs.  He was especially proud of his red hair.

As this was taking place, we were shooing people away.  Family, waitresses, even my husband seemed to be interrupting.  There I was with the boy with the red hair whom I’d known for less than two minutes, having a deep and important conversation.

You just don’t know what is right around the corner.  Little things can become big things in an instant.  When dinner was finished I walked over to the mother to tell her all the great things about her child; creative thinking, language skills, social skills, sense of self, and more.  For me it was just obvious and something I wanted to pass on to her.  To the mother, it was a sunrise, words that she won’t forget.

I think I had the best night, and the boy with the red hair might feel the same way.  The mother might feel she had the best night, ever.  The little things became a big thing.  That’s exactly what happened tonight.  I’m so glad I don’t miss those moments.


About Jennie

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty years. This is my passion. I believe that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It's the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting. That's what I write about. I am highlighted in the the new edition of Jim Trelease's bestselling book, "The Read-Aloud Handbook" because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at both the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, and the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital.
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4 Responses to The Boy With the Red Hair

  1. Kerry says:

    Love this Jennie! And it’s so true-
    it’s the little things that make a big difference. 🙂

  2. Thanks for sharing your very special meeting with the boy with the red hair! Little actions can make such a big difference in our lives.

  3. reocochran says:

    I love helping to promote confidence in children. This was an exciting and unforgettable evening for all involved. You are blessed to have a caring and understanding husband! 🙂

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