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Sometimes kids can really surprise you June 2, 2006

Posted by table4five in Uncategorized.

This morning, in the frantic rush to get out the door and get the kids to school before the last bell rings, I pulled a folded piece of black construction paper out of Ryan’s backpack. It was this:

His art teacher went to China, and came back with all kinds of Asian-influenced art projects. When she taught the kids about Haiku, she explained that they are usually about Nature, and are drawn with black ink. Their assignment was to write and illustrate a Haiku about Nature.

Ryan explained that he thought of Fall leaves, and that led him to think about September, and that led him to September 11. Here is the text of his Haiku:

Time to rake the leaves.
Time to remember the brave.
Red, yellow and brown.

For his illustration he drew a flag, and leaves, and the Twin Towers. I think the lines at the top are fireworks.

My mouth dropped open. “Did you come up with this all by yourself?”, I asked him. His eyes were big, bright and shining. “Yes”, he said.

I groped for the right words. I wanted to convey to him how proud I was of him. A third grade boy, asked to write a Haiku about Nature, and he sums up both Fall and what September 11th is about in 3 lines with 5-7-5 meter.

“Ryan”, I said, “that is wonderful. Awwwww!” Not the most eloquest response, but it was the best I could do off the top of my head. When he gets home from school today, I’m going to have him read this, and I’m going to look him in the eyes and tell him I’m proud. And that I love him.



1. radioactive girl - June 2, 2006

I love moments like that that make your heart hurt because you are so proud of your child. It also sort of validates that yes, we are doing a great job raising our children!

2. Meg - June 2, 2006

Oh my god!!! How touching. It’s really good to know that the kids have adapted to what has changed but that they haven’t forgotten. Good sign in my book.

3. Java Junkie - June 2, 2006

Ryan is un-friggen-believable. I mean it, that kid amazes me on a constant basis. He’s sensitive, tough, and insanely smart. He loves his siblings like no other and STILL hugs his Auntie when she comes to visit (sensitive) He fractured his wrist and no one knew until Chris saw him favoring his wrist because he never once complained (tough) and he wants to be a paleontologist when he grows up and could probably do fractions in his head.

I can’t wait to see my nephews and niece tomorrow. YAY!! 🙂 Give them kisses for me until then, sissy.

4. Java Junkie - June 2, 2006

Sissy if you see this, I wanted to let you know I talked to Dad and he said about 10, but didn’t say where so I don’t have that info yet. I would have emailed you but oddly I don’t have your email address and I can’t call you because your eldest nephew is on the phone with his giirrlfriend

Yep, I say it like that in real life, too 😉

5. Fraulein N - June 2, 2006

Wow. Seriously, wow. Budding poet, maybe?

6. mama_tulip - June 2, 2006

This brought tears to my eyes. I can feel the pride in your words. He’s an amazing kid, and he’s got an amazing mom. 🙂

7. Suebob - June 2, 2006

And it is a heckuva good haiku for any age.

8. Self-Proclaimed Supermom - June 3, 2006

That is so genius. You should be so proud!!

9. Dawn - June 3, 2006

May I suggest you get one of those plastic “box” frames for it? Another Mom did that with her child’s best art – and I loved the effect in her kitchen.

I love when I see the genius pop out of the child – you get glimpses of their souls…

10. Belinda - June 4, 2006

I’m glad you memorialized it here. How neat it will be for him to read this post one day.

11. Anonymous - June 4, 2006

Tell Ryan I think his Haiku is really great also. And, I just have to have a larger version of Kaitlyn in the pink hat and chucks. Please, please?
Grandpa Stan

12. Anonymous - June 4, 2006

I just found the larger version.
Never mind.

13. Beth - June 4, 2006

that was very insightful -and better than most published haiku i’ve read.

very good. very, very good.

14. Becki - June 4, 2006

That was wonderful. He probably intended “red, yellow, and brown” to refer to the leaves, but bonus points if he included it also as a reference to the fallen brave.

Someone brilliant must be raising that boy.

15. jen - June 5, 2006

I think I’d till be standing in the kitchen with my mouth hanging open. definitely interesting to see what goes on inside a kid’s head. But seriously…3rd grade?? just wow.

16. TB - June 5, 2006

That is really amazing. It took me a minute to get the double meaning of the last line. What a sensitive boy you are raising.

17. mothergoosemouse - June 6, 2006

I swear I already commented on this, but apparently Blogger ate it. Elizabeth, I was blown away by Ryan’s poem. You say that you wonder about your parenting? Wonder no more. What an amazing young man.

18. Nancy - June 7, 2006

You have an amazing kid. But I know you already realize that.

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