Farm Press Blog

There's nothing more wonderful than children


• I spend 30 minutes each week reading to first graders in a school near our home.

• I thought of those little guys as I was driving across country last weekend.

• I can’t begin to understand how anyone could hurt a child.

I have mentioned before that I spend 30 minutes each week reading to first graders in a school near our home.

I thought of those little guys as I was driving across country last weekend—after I heard the horrible, horrible news about the shootings in Newtown, Conn.

I thought about the big smiles that always greet me when I walk into their room and how they wave to me as they gather around the rocking chair where I sit and read.

I recalled how eager they always are to learn about a new book or to listen again to one they’ve heard before. I thought about the wonder I see in their eyes when they learn something new about an earthworm, a spider or a whale. I remembered how they laugh when I read them one of the silly books they like the best. I remembered how they always look forward to the latest antics of Tacky the Penguin, perhaps their very favorite.

And I am always amused by how eager they are to participate, raising their hands to tell me what they liked about a book or how silly it is for a duck to ride a bicycle. And they just want to share things—what their little sister did or how they spent their weekend. And one little boy once asked me,” Where do you get your socks?”

I am always impressed at how quietly they sit—well mostly, they are first graders after all—and how well-behaved and respectful they are. I’m impressed with how patient and gentle their teacher is. With a look or a gentle reminder she gets them to sit straight, cross their legs and take their turns.

They always say, in unison, “Thank you, Mr. Smith, for reading to us.” And I always thank them for being such a good audience. The last time I read to them they had Christmas cards for me—the ones made out of construction paper and crayons with pictures of Christmas trees and jingle bells and some with a somewhat elderly man sitting in a rocking chair reading a book; some add hearts; they all, in first grade scrawls and sometimes creative spellings, tell me how much they enjoy my books and what a nis (sic)  person I am for reading to them.

Sometimes, after I finish reading, one will give me a high five or hug me and say thanks.

I thought about how I never leave that classroom without a smile on my face and a warm place in my heart. I used to think I was doing this for the children, but after four years I realize who receives the greatest benefit.

These are sweet kids, six-year-old children. And I can’t begin to understand how anyone could hurt them.  And Friday I thought about them. I could see them all, sitting, listening, laughing; and I understood that they were the same kids that were harmed in Newtown. And if I knew how to make sure that something that heinous never happens to these little guys, I’d certainly do it. Whatever it took.

But as I drove across country last Friday, about all I could do was bite down on my lower lip to keep from crying. It didn’t work.

Please or Register to post comments.

What's Farm Press Blog?

The Farm Press Daily Blog

Connect With Us

Blog Archive
Continuing Education Courses
New Course
The 2,000-member Weed Science Society of America’s (WSSA) Herbicide Resistance Action...
New Course
The course details six of the primary diseases affecting citrus: Huanglongbing (Citrus...
Potassium nitrate has a positive effect in controlling plant pests and diseases when applied...

Sponsored Introduction Continue on to (or wait seconds) ×