I feel smarter already!
By pojut Story ID: 55
Every morning, I walk with my eight year old stepson to the bus stop. He doesn't like being alone, and because he's taken to a school outside of what would be his "normal" district, he's the only one at the stop. We playfight, chase each other, talk...you know, general screwing around stuff.
One particularly rainy morning a couple weeks ago, he was unusually quiet. If you knew E, you'd know that "quiet" is a foreign concept to him. You'd have better luck teaching a penguin how to play a Les Claypool bass solo than you would catching my kid being quiet. This child is normally squawking, or farting, or blowing raspberries, or laughing. Instead, he stood there silently, his mind in some far off place. The only sound was the cold water gently pattling on his oversized rubber umbrella.
So, naturally, I was a bit concerned.
"What's wrong, dude?"
A moment passes, and he slowly looks up at me, the gears in his mind visible through his bright blue eyes. Incredulous and dejected, he says "Adam, how do you know when you're getting better at something? I try my hardest to read, but I always feel like the words don't make any sense."
My own gears begin turning.
"Well, are you reading any faster than you used to?"
"I don't know...I guess so. Maybe?"
"How about this. Are there any words you can easily read that you used to have to sound out one syllable at a time?"
His face brightens, freckles dancing across his nose and cheeks. "Oh! Yes! I used to have trouble reading the word 'usually', but now I can read it without stopping in the middle!"
Beaming. "See? So, you are improving. You just have to sit and think about the things you do. Sometimes, we improve in such tiny ways that we don't even notice them. The trick is not to just do things, but to think about how you do them."
He blinks as a drop of rain invades his previously dry face. Staring up through the blue-tinted rubber, he lets go of the handle, and nonchalantly allows the umbrella to rest on the top of his head.
He places his hands in his pockets, looks back at me, and smiles a toothy grin.
"I feel smarter already!"