I watch him as he works at his desk during our center time. He becomes so engrossed in whatever has captured his attention that time seems to fade and he leaves us for a little while. It may be a picture book or an encyclopedia filled with wonderous photographs or his library book, but it is a flight into another realm of his world. He sits quietly without speaking and hunches close to the book. I study him at times. This little elfin figure that has filled my working days with wonder. So serious. So small.
What is it about him that captures my attention, that makes me seek him out many times during our day together? Is it to see what comical mischief he's into, or to check and make sure he's as happy as we are when we're around him? Is it a more selfish motive? To be noticed by Evan is to be reassured that you matter, that you are special. Whatever the reason, I find myself glancing his way often, looking for him in the room, even looking to see where he's positioned himself at our lunch table.
The lunch room. Another place to yet watch him at work.
Our school hires part-time workers to work certain areas of our campus. One such place is the lunchroom. One day there was a gentleman working the area where plates are emptied. It was the same day Evan slipped his 'gold' rock into his pocket-for safety reasons he told me later.
Unknownst to me, another student had playfully hidden this 'treasure' that Evan had set on his lunch plate. So naturally, when we line up he realizes he must have thrown his rock in the trash along with his food. Knowing he wasn't supposed to have it in the lunchroom in the first place, he decided to handle it on his own.
We're busy working on a math lesson when this gentleman comes to my door.
"Mrs. Hood? Would you tell Evan Pickler that I couldn't find his valuable stone. Ma'am, I looked real good."
"I'm sorry," I replied with what I'm sure is a confused look. "I don't know what you're talking about."
"Well, he came up and told me he'd dropped a gold nugget into the trashcan and asked me to find it and return it to him. Said he'd be in your room."
Apparently, this man had donned gloves and gone through a fifty-five gallon trashbin of food scraps looking for a rock that was at the moment sitting on Evan's desk, having been returned during our walk back across campus.
"Evan Mark Pickler, Junior come here now."
With a look of 'Oh no, think quick!' he managed to say, "Mrs. Hood, wasn't he nice to look for my gold rock for me?"
"Evan, whatever possessed you to ask this man to do that?"
With a serious, and surprised, expression on his face, Evan answered, "Well ... I needed help and I would've helped him."
And Evan would have. Without any hesitation. Or permission!
~until another day and another time may your days be filled with wonderous moments~