Tuesday, October 23, 2012
The first graders are still listening to me read John Erickson's The Original Adventures of Hank the Cowdog. Up to this point, Hank has failed to determine the murderer of two hens, been caught with the remains of one dead hen, and been in trouble for various things. As a result, he decided to become an outlaw. He headed for the canyons where he rescued a coyote whose head was stuck in a Hawaiian Punch can. When her face was exposed to the light, Hank felt weak in the knees. His mind was swimming with unfamiliar thoughts. He was in love.
As we reviewed the previous chapters today, one student asked again how Hank knew he was in love. The others recounted his weak legs and demonstrated how Hank's eyes were probably glossy and how he had a goofy smile. I countered that with something like this: "But that's not exactly what it is like to be in love." Wrong thing to say in front of six- and seven-year-olds. The next question was, of course, "Well, how did you know you were in love?"
"That's a very good question," I replied, stalling for time. Then I told them how my husband makes me laugh, how I always know he is looking out for me, how we like to do things together, how considerate he is of situations and people. They all nodded, as if they knew exactly what I meant.