As you may already know if you've read these two posts of mine over at Disaboom, last Thursday I went to Sweetie's preschool to read a book to and answer questions from her classmates. The four year old class as well as the kindergarteners attended. It was a fun, humorous and interesting visit, but I won't repeat the details here. Please read my other posts for that.
What I will mention here is this: for all the non-related statements, repeated questions, silly activity and seemingly unimpressed kids who made themselves known to me that day, there were several others who stayed quiet. Others who had questions - possibly legitimate questions - which I didn't have time to get to. Others who were intrigued, listening close, and truly curious about what I had to share.
In fact, the very last question I addressed before my time with the kids was up was from a shy girl in the back row. I think she must have had her hand raised all along, since one of the teachers asked her what her question was before I could decide who's raised hand I would call upon next.
This quiet little girl from the kindergarten class broke away from all the non-related talk of pets, somersaults and birthday parties to ask me if I'm able to walk without using my stick.
Yes, I can. I'll show you the difference in how I walk with and without it.
All the kids stayed quietly captivated as I executed my demonstration.
Later in the day, when I went back to Sweetie's school to pick her up and go home, I crossed paths with this inquisitive 5 year old again. She was walking out of the school with her mom as I was walking in.
Hi (Sweetie's) mom!
I really liked the story you read today.
Good! I'm very glad!
Wow. That little girl made my day. Not because she was thoughtful enough to say hi and thank me for the story. But because she represents a number of other kids who listened to me that day, yet didn't say a word. Didn't ask a question. Other kids who stayed still, quietly wondering, listening, and understanding.
Initially I left Sweetie's school, after my visit with the kids, thinking that they didn't ask nearly as many questions as I thought they would. At the time, it seemed like I hardly made any impression at all.
Yet, even if the truth of the matter is that most of the kids were too young; too self-interested; too tired, hungry or bored to pay attention to my visit with them, I know there were other kids who were intrigued and impressed.
That day - and that cute little girl - truly made me realize... sometimes the wisest, most curious sounds can only be heard from the quiet.
Open mouths often only make the loudest noise. But it's the open eyes, ears and minds that can make the biggest difference.