Once upon a time, on a Halloween not so long ago…
“So,” Julian’s teacher looked up at me with a soft smile in her eyes, “in preparation for Halloween this year, Julian did an activity this morning called ‘The Witch’s Brew.’ He stuck with it all morning long until he finally completed it–very determined boy, your Julian. I kept telling him that he didn’t have to write the whole thing out, but he insisted.”
It was that time of the year: parent–teacher conferences at my son’s preschool.
“What each child was supposed to do,” she explained as she led me to an area in the room where a witch’s hat, a small black pot for making “stew,” and the pretend ingredients for that stew, were neatly arranged on a table, “was to add the ingredients of the stew into the pot, to write down what they’ve added, and to then move on to the next ingredient until all ten ingredients have been added and written down.”
She handed me the piece of paper where Julian, in his four-year-old scrawl, had meticulously written down each ingredient that he’d added to the stew: 1 snall (or, snail), 2 rats, 3 pumpkins, 4 snaks (snakes), 5 wigile bugs (wiggly bugs), 6 bats, 7 skeltons (skeletons), 8 black spidrs (black spiders), 9 frogs and 10 orang spidrs (orange spiders).
“Wow,” I commented proudly, smiling down at the misspelled words. “What a great job for a four-year-old.”
“Well,” his teacher continued, taking the paper back out of my hands. “Like I said, Julian worked on this project almost all morning long. He just wouldn’t give up. Because once a child completes the list of ingredients on this side of the paper, then they are allowed to turn the paper over and write out their ‘ultimate wish,’ something that they’re really yearning for.”
The look on her face gave her away as she turned the paper over.
“You’re about to make me cry, aren’t you?” I asked, knowing the answer.
“You bet I am,” she smiled, handing the paper back to me.
My eyes dropped down to the paper in my hands that held Julian’s wish: “I wish momme has a hart in hr tume.” Which, if written correctly, would read like this: “I wish mommy has a heart in her tummy.”
I reached a hand into my right coat pocket, removing the tissue that is always there since Julian’s siblings started dying.
“Your son just has one of the biggest hearts I’ve ever seen in a child,” she said, shaking her head. “He’s a very special young man. And he definitely loves his Mommy and Daddy.”
Photo credit: <a href=”https://visualhunt.com/author2/0d52c8″>Vec’s world</a> on <a href=”https://visualhunt.com/re/4721af”>VisualHunt.com</a> / <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”> CC BY-NC</a>