No need for much commentary on this one. I’ll let Claire do the talking in the short video above left– I hope it works here!
The second graders recently did a poetry project, in which they wrote a poem, made a multimedia presentation about it– including a computer animation– and presented it to an audience of parents one morning last week. Claire had warned me to bring Kleenex, because one of the girls in her class cried when she read it during her dress rehearsal. (I now love that little girl!) But don’t worry– I’m not going to talk about Gus for the 512th time here. I still miss him and my left ventricle (the part of my heart he took with him). Every. Single. Day.
But let’s talk about something else for a minute. Seems I really can’t be content with just posting the video. How about how most of the poetry jam poems were about favorite trees, soccer goals, vacations, or even a kid’s bedroom. But not Claire– she had to go for the emotional topic. Yes, my Claire is dramatic– maybe sometimes melodramatic. She takes after her mama. She really feels things– the happy and the sad– and somehow doesn’t have the capacity to just dismiss it and get on with whatever. I understand that, even when I lose patience with sudden and severe tears over something I thought we’d finished with, or something that doesn’t seem so terrible to me. Her heart is really, really tender.
It could be because her imagination is bigger than all of her imaginary kingdoms put together. Before you can even finish a thought, she has peopled the scenario with characters and emotions, and is running the simulation in her mind. It’s not that dissimilar, one could argue, from someone with a gift for numbers– the ability to go straight through an equation and understand the logical ins and outs before the other people in the room have figured out how to write it down. Only with numbers we consider it genius, while with imagination, we tend to consider it frivolous and self-indulgent. As if numbers are somehow more righteous than feelings.
Just the other day I overheard her improvising a conversation between Anne Shirley (of Green Gables), Hermione Granger, and (probably) Barbie. I wish I could tell you the gist of the conversation, but all I could pick out in the few moments I was nearby was the identity of the characters (and that they were at one point talking about Ruby Gillis– I know I heard that, as well). But really, think about the little mind that puts those three characters together for a tete-a-tete! Now I want to hear what they would say to one another. And I can tell you for damn certain I’ve never wondered so much about how 9 and 7 and pi might interact with one another.
Although now I’m curious. But only if we give them personalities first. Do you think pi is a boy or a girl?