I was the Mystery Reader for Joshua's kindergarten class this morning.
It's a lovely concept. I was the Mystery Reader for Phoenix back when he was in kindergarten. Which feels like it was just yesterday. I can't believe he's in the 4th grade now.
The day before you are to read to the class, you send in three clues about yourself. Mine were:
I am a musician and I love to write songs.
I am the only girl in a house full of boys!
I want to learn how to fly an airplane.
I arrived at the classroom at 10:30am on the nose and knocked on the door and a chorus of little voices sang out,
When I walked though the door I saw darling little people all squirming and wiggling trying to see who I was.
"It's my other mommy!", I heard Joshua yell and he jumped up and ran over and almost knocked me down with the force of his hug. I'm not going to lie, I teared up at that.
"She makes silly faces and says funny voices!", he yelled, "it's awesome!"
"Hi everyone! I'm Meghan. You can call me Ms. Meg or Meg or Meghan or Ms. Meghan or, in a pinch, Gorgeous, if you forget my real name." This was lost on the students but the teachers in the room chuckled.
"Fortunately for me I MAKE funny faces, I don't have a silly face, at least I hope not; and I MAKE silly voices, I don't actually have a silly voice. I am here to read you the story of Olive, a little dog, who helps out Santa!"
I held up the book I brought, "Would you like to hear it?"
"Okay then! Here we go!"
I proceeded to read them the story of Olive, the dog, who overhears the "Rudolph, the Red Nosed Reindeer" song on the radio. When she hears the part, "All of the other reindeer", she gets confused because SHE thinks it's saying, "Olive, the other reindeer."
This concept was lost on the children but for one kid, who, when I read that little bit, yelled out,
"That's CAH-RAZY! 'All of the other reindeer' and her name is 'Olive' and 'ALL OF' and 'OLIVE' sound the SAME!"
He's an adorable kid, with the kind of face that, when you look at it, you can already see him at 45. You know what I mean? Some kids are like that. He's one of them. Too cute.
I pointed out funny little moments in the illustrations like the fact that, while Olive is on a bus to the North Pole, there is a penguin hanging out on the side of the road.
"That guy, right there? He is WAY lost. Penguins don't live in the North Pole, they live in the South Pole."
A little boy piped up, "Christmas penguins live in the North Pole!"
How could I argue with that?
By the time Santa Claus entered the story a forest of little hands shot up in the air,
"I have a question!"
"I have a question, tooooo!"
"OOOOH ME TOO!"
I pointed to one little boy behind Joshua who's longing to ask his question had caused him to contort his body in a Bikram yoga like position.
"Yes? What is your question?"
"I saw Santa Claus one time when I was a baby."
Ah, the classic 5 year old I-have-a-question-no-you-don't-it's-really-a-statement phenomenon.
I called on a little girl who was staring at me with longing.
"How about you? Do you have a question?"
"I saw Santa Claus one time, too, at the mall, but I was too scared to go see him 'cause I was scared."
This "I have a question no really it's a statement" business went on until, somehow, we ended up on the subject of birds and flying and then one boy shouted out that he had a chicken.
"Chickens can't fly though, really.", I said. "They can only get a little ways off of the ground."
"It can get on our roof!", he crowed (pun intended).
"REALLY? Then maybe you have eggs on your roof!"
That flummoxed him. He stared at me with an expression of horror at the thought that there might be eggs on his roof.
I finished the story and then led them all in the Rudolph, the Red Nosed Reindeer song, complete with all of the "Like a lightbulb, like Monopoly, etc." bits.
I made my goodbyes and slipped out, with the teacher mouthing, "Thank you." I mouthed back, "No, thank YOU."
Because truly it was so much fun. I love little ones. And Joshua's face, beaming up at me, melted my heart.
Tonight, at dinner, as we went through our "best part and worst part" of our day we talked about how I read to Joshua's class.
"What story did Meghan read, Joshua?", Zack inquired.
Joshua's eyes darted to me, then back to Zack.
"Uh. Um. It's a story about reindeer."
"Yes, but what KIND of reindeer?", I hinted, winking at him.
"Randolph, the Red Nosed Reindeer!"
"Randolph?", the whole table started laughing.
Oh well. He might not have comprehended it all that much but at least Joshua seemed to enjoy it!