We Never Know

These Grinch Treats arrive in my inbox this morning, and I flash back to Wednesday when, as ever my first to arrive in our Google Meet, I corner Nick and after standard pleasantries, ask him if he’d be on the lookout for a holiday party snack. Now I balk at starting party talk so early, but this cohort of six sixth graders has stolen my heart. And honestly, they work hard for me!

Halloween was so awesome because another of my students had found a craft—a pumpkin made out of orange string. She and her mother made supply bags for each of the students and DELIVERED them—after making sure each one was cool with that, of course. (Can you tell that I teach students who are truly lucky to be embraced by a small, loving, affluent community that cares deeply about their well-being?)

During the actual Halloween celebration, we all made our string pumpkins together, laughing and enjoying 2020’s version of a class party. We had so much fun, in fact, that the time—down to 60 minutes from 84—slipped away from us. Nick, who had given us all directions for our snack earlier in the week,

Zombie Lips from allrecipes

was stuck with only me as, one by one, the kids scampered off. Together we walked to our kitchens, he in New Jersey, I in Oregon, bearing our devices, and gathered ingredients. Together he walked me through the process, and there it was—my version:

(I know he wants to be a chef, but based on his tutelage, he’d be a terrific teacher, too! Nick made all the appropriate, encouraging comments.) Together in the end, our two sets of Zombie Lips garishly grinned at each other across the country.

My disappointment lay in the absence of his peers. Now that would’ve been something!

So when I asked him to find a snack we could make for December 23rd, I let him know that he’d go first, so we wouldn’t run out of time. Meanwhile, his classmates had been entering the Meet. When he agreed, one of the students said, “Ms. Emerson, Maddie and I made the Lips after the class ended.”

“My sister and I made them, too”

“Me and my brother, too…”

One-by-one, the kids announced that they had used Nick’s directions to create their own snacks—on their own time!

“Did you let Nick know?” I asked.

“Hey, Nick, that was fun! Thanks.”

After each of them had spoken, I said, “So Nick, how does it feel?”

“Great” small pause. “I’m on it for next time!”

What a gift—conversation—just waiting to be opened.

6 thoughts on “We Never Know”

    1. Adrienne, I am telling you, it was terrific. You know how sixth graders are. They love an opportunity to celebrate…Don’t we all!

    1. Nick is such a pragmatic child, all serious most of the time, so his terse, “I’m on it,” was typical and delightful! Then he followed it up with the Grinch…I love these kids!

  1. Ah, Patricia, this is precious. I love your zombie lips! So funny and clever too. Nick is being encouraged in his cheffing and his teaching! That’s what good teachers do. Beautiful slice of life today.

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