They came streaming through the door in a somewhat orderly line. Twenty-four third graders radiating excited energy.
"Good morning!" I said brightly to each individual as they passed by me.
Today was our annual fundraiser, a Fun Run, which accounted in part for the high level of excitement. In addition to that, because my class had earned over $20 per lap in pledges, they had been rewarded with a crazy hair day. Some of them took crazy to a whole new level.
As they entered the classroom, I made note of their craziness: A. with a braid that went from one side of her head to the other, wrapped with colorful pipe cleaners to make a rainbow; E. with branches of an artificial plant looped through her braid, transforming her into Mother Nature; J. with his hair colored silver, giving him the look of an android. I stopped when J.V. got close. His hair was all messed up, going in all different directions and a subtle shade of purple had been added.
"Nice hair, J.V. I gotta say, that look works on you," I said, and really it did.
Then there was G. She walked in with her hair in a bun and pencils sticking out in all directions. I was a little concerned about safety.
"They're not sharpened," she assured me. Still, I wasn't sure how safe it was to run around with pieces of wood stuck in her hair.
"Here, this is for you," she said, handing me one of her unsharpened pencils with a green rubber band wrapped around it, keeping a tiny scrap of paper in place.
"Thank you," I said.
We had a busy morning of getting our Fun Run t-shirts on, squeezing in a reading activity, and actually participating in the run, so it wasn't until much later that I had a chance to look more closely at the pencil G. had given me.
I unwrapped the green rubber band and discovered there were actually two tiny pieces of paper, torn corners from a sheet of binder paper. On one it said, "You erase my bad habits." I smiled.
It was the second one that really got me, though. "You are really sharp" it said. Now, I appreciate a play on words, but the truly funny part was the P.S. she had added. Down below she had written "P.S. Sharp also means smart," just in case I didn't get the joke, I presumed.
I laughed out loud as I tucked her precious offering into my desk and prepared to welcome these crazy, wonderful kids back to class.