Oh my students never cease to amaze me.  Calvin did something today that has to rank as one of the sweetest gestures I’ve ever seen.

Well today, Calvin hadn’t even walked into the classroom, and he handed me a book.  It was Whistle for Willie.

whistle-for-willieNow we’ve read many Ezra Jack Keats books and I’ve talked about how he’s one of my favorite authors.  I wasn’t sure why Calvin was handing me the book.  Did he want me to read it to the class? Was he just sharing a favorite book with me?

“Calvin, oh I love this book!” I began.

“For you,” he replied.

“Do you want me to read it to the class?” I asked.

“No, it’s for you – for birthday,” he corrected me.

Suddenly I understood the book.

A few days ago, as we began the new month of May, as we always do, we took a closer look at the calendar.  We look at special days, including any birthdays in the month.  Well guess whose birthday is in May?  Mine!  Of course, the class was super excited about their teacher’s birthday, but I assured them we had while to wait, as it’s not until almost the end of May.

Quite simply, Calvin heard my birthday was coming up and wanted to give me a present.  What do you give your kindergarten teacher who appears to love nothing more than reading?  A book, of course.

I had a dilemma.  I didn’t want to take this book, clearly from his own collection, but I didn’t want to offend him either.

I knelt down so we could chat eye to eye.

“Oh Calvin, thank you!  I really love this book, what a perfect present for me,” I said.

He beamed.

“You know what would make this present even better?  If you would hold on to the book for me after I read it to the class,” I suggested.

He looked confused.

“I’ll read it to the class and then you take it home, and then every time you read it, think of me,” I continued.

He smiled and took the book back.

Oh.  Seriously, what a brilliant gift.  My birthday is three weeks away and I’m feeling the love already.