General Fiction posted September 9, 2015

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Class of seven year olds make believe

Finger Fantasies

by JeanneHP

Kirsty Gibson opened the door to her second grade classroom and paused.    'Is this what I was meant to do with my life?   I love the little ones, but otherwise my life is empty.   I’m thirty years old, alone, and  a bit lost.'  

She chided herself - 'Enough of that self-pity girl - get in there and teach.’

Kirsty routinely arrived in her classroom a half-hour before the children began to dribble in.   She set aside that time to double check her plans for the day.  She was acutely aware of one thing - the children’s minds needed to be stimulated every minute of the school day.

That day she planned to fire up their imaginations.  It concerned Kirsty that even at their young ages, today’s technical world could be suffocating the exploration of their creativity.

“Good morning children,” she sang out to them once they were all quiet in their seats.   Twenty students faced the front of the classroom at four long tables with two talkers assigned to end spots.

Kirsty picked out two students she felt needed some confidence building.

 “Carrie, I like that ribbon in your hair.  By the way, how is your finger today, and have you forgiven your brother?”

"My finger still hurts, Miss Gibson," Carrie answered.    "Maybe I'll forgive Liam some day, but not today or tomorrow for sure."

Forever fair Kirstie then singled out a boy.   “Shawn, that new haircut you have is cool.  I’m happy too, to see you wore your gloves on this cold winter day instead of storing them in your pockets.”

Shawn grinned and lowered his eyes, but remained silent.   He had heard his mother on the phone with Miss Gibson the night before.  

Earlier in her career, Kirstie commited herself to enforcing her student's self-importance in life . . . as basic as reading or math.  That day, she had chosen Shawn and Carrie as two who could benefit from  a little extra attention.

She continued on with the day's lesson.

“We’re going to play a type of game today children." 

Their innocent, mostly serious faces lit up with interest.  

"I want you all to sit very still, listen closely and follow my directions. “

Kirsty spoke softly.  “Now close your eyes.”

She gave them a few seconds of silence then said, “Now I would like you to put your hands palms up on the table in front of you.”

When she saw that all eyes were closed and hands in the correct position on the tables, she said, “And now bow your heads and open your eyes.”

Confused, Shawn couldn’t contain himself any longer.  He shouted out, “Mine are clean, Miss Gibson.”

"Well of course they are Shawn . . . now everyone please pay attention."

Kirsty directed, “Now I want each of you to take five minutes, study the fingers on your hands and share with the class a story about what you think you might see or pretend to see.    You have five minutes.  One, two, three, BEGIN!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Children, your five minutes are up.  I can’t wait to hear your stories.  We’ll begin with Cody at table one and move to the next student on the right until we end with Faith at the end of table four.  You may begin Cody, then everyone else in turn.

Cody - “My thumbs are super-heroes.  They're short, but tough.  The other fingers ask them for help whenever they want to do something they can't do alone.”

Sophia - held up her right index finger - “Look everybody, this is the smartest finger in the whole world.  It can make you be quiet, can bring somebody closer, ask you to wait a minute, tell you where to look, which way the wind is blowing and it can make the most important number ever . . . the number one.”

Daniel - pointed at one of his middle fingers.   “I think this is a bad finger, but I don’t know what he ever did.   All I know is, I'm in trouble if I ever put that tall guy up in the air.  He must have done something awful like poked somebody's eye out." 

Eric -  pointed at one hand and counted - "One, two three four.  The fourth finger is snotty and a stuck-up.  It thinks it’s better than all the rest, because it wears shiny rings and says it's the reason married people stay married."

Grace - wiggled her little finger - “This little girl here cries all the time because she’s so small and weak.  She doesn’t feel good about herself because all she is ever asked to do is scrape off spots here and there.  Oh, and she wants everybody to know . . . ear wax is icky." ."

Anna -  “Almost everybody has pointed to the fingers on their right hand.  What about the other guy, Lefty?  The right hand and its fingers have to ask Lefty for help all the time.   Lefty wishes he would be given as much attention as his friend and he told me to thank the two kids in this room who do.”

Shawn  - “You know what's crazy?   When the fingers and the hand they're riding on get together, they do weird things.  Sometimes they bang against each other when they like something, or roll up in a ball to hit something.  Then there's that dumb game they all play together about a church and a steeple.

Olivia - “These two . . .  holding up her index and middle finger . . . . .  can’t make up their minds.  If they cross each other forward, they make a wish, if they cross them back, they tell a lie.  I told them they just should not lie at all.”

Brian - The thumb and  middle finger think it’s funny to scare us little kids.  They rub hard against each other to make a load snapping noise.   It always gets my attention, but I think it scares the other fingers.

Carrie - "The pointer finger always forgets things, so she dresses herself with a ribbon or string to help her remember, but then she forgets why it's there.  She reminds me of my Aunt Jeanne."

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Kirstie interrupted, “Class, we only have time for three more.  Jason, Mia, Brody, Liam, Austin, Kathie, Jenna, Michael and Faith, dream on it tonight and we’ll resume tomorrow.  Kyle, Molly and Emma will finish  up today.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Kyle -  "Sometimes they all play together to make pretty music  when they go dancing on those black and white things.”

Molly  - Rowdy fingers on one hand grab one poor finger on the other hand and pull until it screams.  Then it makes a sound like 'Ahh.'  I don't get it."  

Emma -  One hand and fingers said to the other hand and fingers,  “Come over here and join with me,  We're strong when we are pressed together.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Kirsty reached over her shoulder and gave herself a little pat on the back.  She successfully accomplished what she set out to do that day, confident that the following day would be more of the same.   The stories the children told were both imaginative and creative.   As she closed the classroom door at the end of the school day, she reminisced about the various directions the children took in their story telling, and anxiously looked forward to the remaining nine children .  

She thought, ‘Kirsty, your life isn’t empty at all -  in fact it's full to overflowing.





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