I was finally able to return to school today. I was nervous that I would be exhausted by lunch time. But I found that my kids really helped pull me along. They are so full of energy and life, that it is hard not to be taken by their contagiousness.
One of the things on my "to-do" list today was to pick out a picture book to read at our school's Barnes and Noble night tonight. I'm signed up to read during the 6:15 slot, and I really hadn't thought much about what I would pick. Before dismissing them for a bathroom break I asked them if they would think about their favorite picture book read alouds, and meet me back on the rug with one if they can.
Every single kid came to the carpet with a book.
I was a little surprised, and at first I must admit I was afraid they just grabbed a book with little thought. But I was so wrong. My kids really thought about it, and were so excited at the idea of remembering the journeys we'd taken together with those books. As each kid gradually made their way to the carpet, the others would remember that book, and comment, and always with a smile.
We went around the circle and shared each one, and the kids told why they chose the specific book. Eventually we very naturally decided on a group of about six that were some of our favorites. It only seemed right to scrap what I had planned, and to read.
So there I sat with my "pretzel legs" on the floor. Surrounded by my kids, and so pregnant I didn't know how I would get up. And I read each of those stories. After each one we talked and laughed and shared about why it was such a favorite.
Eventually we finished up, and we realized we were late for library. Like ten minutes to library. The kids love to go and exchange their books and our Media Center specialists is killer awesome. But it struck me as so special that these guys were so engaged with me reading and talking with them, that time didn't matter. They didn't notice, and neither did I.
I couldn't have picked a better, impromptu, way to re-connect with my kids after being out almost a week. It was fun.