Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Say What You Want

I've decided that when I get old, I'm going to say whatever I want. I haven't decided exactly when that will be yet -- if it will be a magic age or a particular date... maybe I'll just be at the grocery store one day and my filter will suddenly be gone.

I'll make loud comments about the contents of the shopper's cart behind me. Should you really be buying all of that full fat ice cream? I'll say. And when I see that person's kids running all over the place and climbing on the candy racks, I'll make a public critique of their parenting skills.

Those will be the days. I can't wait.

There's something incredibly freeing about not caring what anyone thinks. Everyone should be like my first graders. They're never worried about the public opinion. They know they're awesome, and they often make grand announcements for all to hear.

One of the girls in my class came back to the reading table. She pulled her chair out, sat down with style and said, "I'm speaking English today. I like English." (I feel the need to point out that English is her first and only language...)

Later on in reading groups, we were reading a story about animals. One of the boys stopped reading and tapped the page with a baby lion. "Baby lions," he said, as if he was making a mental note. "I've gotta get me one of these..."

One of my first grade girls is the third of three sisters who have all been in my class, and they have all had great things to say. As I was passing her desk, I heard her tell her neighbor, "We're not doing math today. It's too distracting." I've decided to use that handy statement whenever I can at home...I'm not making dinner tonight. It's too distracting. I'm not vacuuming anymore. It's too distracting...

One of my all time favorite first grade quotes was from last year. A boy said, "Mrs. Leal, I'm really tired today. I got up at 5:08 a.m.!" Really? I said. That's awfully early. He looked at me like I was missing brain cells and said, "Wizards have to get up early." I passed the same boy a few days ago when he was talking to one of his classmates. He was saying, "I can walk through walls."

The thing is, that kid has so much self confidence, I don't think I would have been surprised to see him do it.

So go ahead. Let your inside voice come out. It'll feel great.