img_6423.jpg   In my experiences, it’s always important and rewarding to remember “the little things,” whatever those may be. Whether it’s admiring the small sliver of sunlight peaking through the clouds or that tiny leaf wedged into a subway grate, glimpses of little moments can be refreshing. I often had thoughts like this when I worked with small children because they make the most astute observations, ask the most puzzling questions, and declare the most astounding things: “After all the Wednesdays and Sundays, then it starts again. ” “When is a tree’s birthday?” “I really want to tell Jacob that I want to marry him. I think about it all the time.  He’s in my mind when I’m sleeping. Jacob is in my heart.” (Then she traced the letter J on her shirt and stared at it).  All of these were said by kids under the age of 4, and just a few reasons I found preschool and daycare jobs so enlightening and fulfilling.   img_6420.jpg  Luckily, I live with someone who can occasionally remind me of why being around children sometimes far surpasses being around adults, but he happens to be 26. Ian tells the cutest stories from childhood, like the time everyone made fun of his chubby crayons or the time it was show-and-tell day and some other kid who went before him also brought in mica,  so he told the teacher he just forgot. Or the time “a leprechaun visited me”, i.e., he woke up on St. Patrick’s Day with a little green footprint on his hand (probably from Mom?), and he waited all day at school for someone to ask about it, but they never did. Or that *one* time he had a pudding snack cup for lunch and his lunchbox accidentally opened on the bus, the pudding rolled out, and he never found it, but decided to hold his finger over the lunchbox closure from then on out, every…single…day. I can’t get enough of stories (pathos, anyone?) like that.img_6421.jpg A few months ago, we are walking to a friend’s show (band) in the neighborhood and Ian spots a small, very straight twig. We keep walking, but he stops and goes back to it.  He wants to “test” it out, to see if it’s strong, because he really likes it! I say, “Come on! We’re gonna be late!” (Oh man, I’m such an adult). He says it passes, holds it, and exclaims, “I found a stick! I found a stick!” in sing-song kind of way.  That’s Ian!    img_6426.jpg Just last weekend (while being struck with daily debilitating migraines, mind you!), Ian  decided to make a plush branch, an idea originally conceived on account of the stick he found. So, he diligently sat on the floor, planned out the general design–brown felt, stuffed with batting, adorned with a green leaf–and went to “work.” What you see in all the pictures is aptly called, “branch.” Or, “branch with leaf.” I love it, and I love that something good, albeit little, can come out of a streak of not-so-great days. There really is always a silver lining, isn’t there? (Unless he sees this blog post he knows nothing about and hates me for it! 😉 ) img_6547.jpg