Oh Sonya. I adored her last year – she made my first year in kindergarten truly priceless. Her spirit and sense of humor literally made me laugh at least once a day. She makes sure to stop by and see me at least once daily… I’ve been her guest in her new class as she read to me. I didn’t cry, she was cracking too many jokes. Recently she came in sporting a fancy necklace. When I complimented her on it, she quipped, “It’s not a necklace… it’s a choker.” Here’s one of the first classic Sonya stories.

“Mr. _______,” Sonya told me one morning as she walked into the classroom. “I saw Mr. Weenie today.”

“Um, excuse me, what did you say?” I asked her.

“Mr. Weenie!” She was practically jumping up and down—not an easy feat in those boots. “I love Mr. Weenie!”

As usual, I had no idea. “Who is Mr. Weenie?”

“Mr. Weenie is my friend. He’s long and sweet. Ah, Mr. Weenie…” Sonya’s eyes grew distant and she smiled, fondly thinking of her friend.

At that point, I was rendered speechless. Sonya, of course, was not. She continued: “Mr. Weenie loves me too. He is my loooong friend. We play together sometimes, but my mom doesn’t know.”

Okay, I thought, time to grab the school social worker. One last time, though, I attempted to get the bottom of things. ”When did you see Mr. Weenie? And who is he?”

Sonya actually rolled her eyes at me a little. “Mr. Weenie is my next-door neighbor’s dog. He plays with me every morning before I get on the bus. Him a good friend.”

Oh boy. A wave of relief washed over me as Sonya pranced into the room to get ready for her day. Dismissing what a child says as silly is never a good thing. Even when that child is Sonya, I need to take time to get to the bottom of things before moving ahead.