SOLSC: Standing Tall

His mother drops off a tray of cookies, a prompt reminder that it is N’s birthday.  Rubbing his eyes and unkept hair, N strolls into the classroom.

“Happy Birthday,” I bellow. He smiles sheepishly, shimmering with pleasure.

“Actually, Ms. M, “my mom says I’m not really nine until after noon.  She says I was born in the afternoon.” He squeals with the delight of a birthday that spans more than a morning.


…fast forward to lunch…

N and I run into each other by the microwave. “N!” I holler, “Happy Birthday! You are finally nine years old.”

“I am?” he questions.  “Is it after noon?”

Note to self: plan mini-lesson on the concept of noon

“Yes. It is after noon.  You are NINE years old.” N glimmers.


fast forward to next morning…


In the hallway N is hanging up his coat, when I emerge from the classroom. “Hey N! Did you have a nice birthday?” He nods his head enthusiastically.  “Do you feel any older? Any taller, smarter?  Does it feel different being nine?”

“Nah,” he says, shrugging off my exuberance.

“Let me get a good look at you,” I say, taking a step back. My eyes look from his head to his toes.  I rub my chin in contemplation.  “Yep!” I declare. “You are definetely taller.”

“Really?” The question pops out of his disbelief, and his spine extends.

“Oh yes,” I marvel. “You absolutely look more nine than yesterday.”


7 responses to “SOLSC: Standing Tall

  1. Dear Erin,
    Your enthusiasm and energy radiates from this piece. I can see how your words literally made N. grow taller. I love how you inserted the breaks, it gives time to breathe between the scenes. I wrote a piece with 5 scenes but couldn’t shorten it enough. Something I have to continue working on. Thank you for an example.

  2. I really enjoyed this slice — what wonderful exchanges! I love your use of the words “glimmer” and “shimmer” to describe N. Your ending was perfect.

  3. So nine! I love hearing all the bits of conversation, it really helped capture the student’s state of being.

  4. You have captured a fun time with a student. I like the fast forward for time. The conversation is so genuine. What a lucky class to have you.

  5. Great slice! Love the movement through time and the note to self! Ha! So true with kids! Glad you were able to help N stand taller!

  6. What a great story! Thanks for being a teacher that celebrates kids’ birthdays for a whole day!

  7. Okay, I’m going to steal that line.
    My husband’s birthday is coming up next week and I’m going to say, on the day after: “You absolutely look more fifty-five than yesterday.” Terrific! I love it when the language pops like that, when a writer can make the words dance.

    We call 55 years old a speed limit birthday around here. I’ve already had mine, and am working towards the next speed limit. However, unlike N, I was born early the morning so I will be older, earlier.

    Fun post!

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