Thursday, 19 December 2013

Anecdote: Learning to Count

06:00:00 Posted by Lara Clayton , , , , , , , 2 comments

On Monday afternoon my eldest nephew, who started school in September, snuggled beside me on the sofa to show me what he’d been learning.
Still dressed in school uniform, looking far too grown up, he thumbed through his workbook, explained each page and then decided it was time to test my number skills. He randomly pointed at a ‘7’ and said, “What’s this number?”
“Seven?”
“Correct.”
This continued until I’d named all 20 numbers and Joshy finally declared, “Yes, you’ve done it.”
“Do I get a sticker?” I asked with a smile.
Joshy thought for a moment (a fleeting look I wish I could capture and keep) before these words fell as beautifully as sycamore seeds from his mouth:
“You can have my sticker,” he said as he peeled a small black and yellow sticker from his jumper, “It’s from my orange.”

I don’t think I’ve ever really appreciated a fruit sticker before; I’ve certainly never loved one, but, as Joshy pressed this one onto my knitted cardigan, I loved it. Not because it was aesthetically pleasing (because it wasn’t) and not – like those metallic stars from my own school days – because it marked an achievement, but rather I loved it because it was kindness in its simplest and purest terms.
To Joshy it wasn’t complicated like the subtraction he’s grappling with, and it wasn’t homework he’ll be marked on and praised for, yet, he still gave his sticker freely, asking for nothing in return and reminding me that some things just can’t be measured by numbers.

Thank you for reading,
Lara

Reactions:

2 comments:

Colin Davies said...

I wish there was a 'Heartwarming' tick I could use at the bottom of that post. (ADMIN!)

:)

Ashley R Lister said...

Yes. If it comes to a choice between kindness or maths I will pick kindness 99 times out 100.

:-)