My baby sister was crying last night. My Mommy woke up and gave her milk. My baby is so tiny.
Another voice chimes in:
My, my, my brother, my baby brother is standing up and holding on!
And then the first voice is back:
I have two baby sisters, the new sister, and a two year old sister. The new baby is crying a lot.
Two by two, I take them to the media center. In the next duo of students, I have a joke-teller, and a family member reviewer - she tells me her family names, and I must then list all of my kids.
These are my weekly updates, each time I visit one of my girls' classes, for reading tests. They come with me in pairs, to listen to a story and take a short comprehension quiz on the computer. But the sharing of Important Business is paramount. Small hands slide into mine, and they vie for air time, eyes sparkling at the presence of a pair of fresh ears.
Mostly, it is talk of siblings, pets and holidays. Moving to new houses, best friends. Now and then there are soulful ones who share bits of their hearts and leave me wondering and wistful.
My mommy makes things that are perfect. (Speaking of baking, confided with sparkling eyes and confidence in her mommy's kitchen splendor.)
And this one, I can never forget:
I don't have a mommy, I have a nanny who takes care of me.
I could only hug this one, and greet him with a special smile ever after. There are the quiet ones I have made a mission to get a smile out of, and the wild ones I have determined will walk and not run down the hall.
At six years old their little personalities are shining out, striving for some independence and success. My ears may be the only ones listening to only them for that day, and I try my hardest to be present. To listen fully and let them know I am glad to be there, reading with them, and hearing the tidbits of their lives. When it is one of my own girls' turn, they both act the same way: they snuggle in and are mostly silent. Listening to their friends chat, and hearing my responses seems to be enough.
We pass by students that I know from years past, and other reading groups. Fingers wiggle and wave, they sneak a hug and get back in line. I leave the building with a smile, my thoughts swirling lazily over all the little tidbits I now carry.
Sweet pieces of sweet little people.
Not a bad way to spend a morning.