Tuesday, January 13, 2015


I am greeted by a wall of words the minute I walk into the office.

"Dr. Carol, Dr. Carol, look, Dr. Carol. I have a new hat," shouts K, waving her head gear frantically in my direction.

"Do you want to try it on?" she says to me. "You can try it." I am used to K's gifts. Last week she offered me a kiss from her Christmas puppy. Earlier today it was a sticker earned in music class. And now her new hat, hot pink with a pop culture character trio on the front.

K chatters excitedly as we walk around the end of the counter. She needs something to drink. She wants to play the spelling game (sometimes we practice sight words after school). She doesn't want to practice the hard word (and)we learned today, only the easy ones- see and  like and can. And maybe dog. 

The office is crowded and noisy, like it is most days after school, and I can tell the secretary is having a hard time hearing. I usher K back around the corner of the counter and sit her down on the bench where kids whose parents are late have to wait.

K is delighted to join a friend from the other kindergarten class. C is not happy- she -has-that -I wonder-if-I'm-going-to-be-picked-up-and-I'm-thinking- about-crying-just-in-case" look.

"Come on, C, you can play the spelling game with us," says K. "I will teach you. We are not doing the hard ones."

C's lip trembles. K hugs her. "It's ok. We are going to play the spelling game."

K and I play a few rounds. By now, C has decided that the situation is quite serious and started to sniffle. K's auntie walks through the door.  C, the last child on the bench  begins to cry in earnest.

K starts to head out the door with her auntie, then turns around and runs back to give C a hug.

"I know" she says. "You can spend the night at my house. We can play."

K's aunt protests. "She has to go home with her mother. It's a school night."

"She can come with me," K insists.

C looks more than a little alarmed. Now not only has her mother not shown up, but it appears that kidnapping by a classmate is looming on the horizon.

K's auntie tries again. "She can't come tonight, sweetie. It's a school night. Maybe another day she can come and play."

Just then C's mom flies into the office. C jumps into her arms, relieved to be free from her captor.

"It's ok, C," insists K. "You can come with me tomorrow."


Linda B said...

Yes, silly, but oh so serious, too. What a happy sounding little girl K sounds, and so caring. Whether the 'kidnapping' happened or not, she did try to help.

Unknown said...

What a sweet sounding girl! Loved the way you told the story. :0)

Ramona said...

Oh, Carol, love this story! What a delightful exchange and you told it so beautifully. I giggled out loud at the end.

Amy Rudd said...

Love how your slice captures the thinking of a lil person whose routine is disrupted by a late pick up...I've seen this before and you nailed the sense of urgency and panic that they have going on...

Judy said...

Love the specificity and K's generous impulses. Thanks for the smile.

Tara said...

Kids are so innately kind to each other, aren't they? That's what we need to work towards as adults, too. Or work backwards, to our kid like selves.

Author Amok said...

What a lovely story, Carol. When my son was in pre-school, he was fine when I dropped him off *unless* his friend was crying. Children can be so sensitive to each other's emotions when they are little.