One Very Fine Day

That right there is one of my new favorite things. It’s a butterfly life cycle game, hand-made for me by Mr. P’s kindergartener’s at Brookwood School, a replica of the set they keep in their classroom for students to challenge themselves with. The idea is to mix all the tiles up with your eyes closed, have a friend set a timer, and wait for that friend to shout, “Go!” Then you open your eyes and try to put the life cycle pictures in the correct order as quickly as you can.

The reigning butterfly life cycle tile game champion in Mr. P’s class is a young man named Porter, and he had looked a little nervous on Friday when his class challenged me to try and beat his time of 7.56 seconds.

He needn’t have been. I did not come even close to beating his time. That game is harder than it looks! These kindergarteners are great sports, though, and they gave me a second chance.

Once again, not even close.

So—this is the part that is making me smile as I type—those generous little souls spent a part of the rest of their day making me my own set of butterfly life cycle tiles. A remedial game set, they told me, in which they drew the caterpillar stages extra carefully because those were the tiles I kept putting in the wrong order. “Now you can practice at home,” they said.

And you know what? Porter did not look at all nervous this time.

“By the time you come back, Mrs. Burns, I’ll probably be in fourth grade,” he told me. “I’ll be even faster by then.”

Thank you to all the kindergarteners at Brookwood School, to their teachers, to librarian Sheila Geraty, to all the staff and administrators who’ve built such a vibrant learning community and then invited me to be part of it for a day. I got at least as much as I gave. Considering the way I feel every time I look at the new butterfly life cycle tile game sitting on the desk beside me, I’d say quite a bit more.

Three cheers for monarchs! Three cheers for learning! Three cheers for kindergarteners!

Okay. I’m off to practice …