All my students knew that today is my little brother's birthday. How did this come up? Well, I have a student whose birthday is also 11 June, also called Matt. His name is the Italian form of Matthew (Matteo) and I absolutely love how it just rolls out of the mouth... Maaatteeooo. Love it.
This morning started out with one of my little girls sharing a story about how her finger was slammed in the door. That progressed into everyone wanting to share stories about hurt fingers. I said, sarcastically at first because I was getting tired of the stories, "Hmmm, maybe I should share about my brother's hurt finger because it is his birthday after all." Little kids don't get sarcasm. "Yes, Miss DeKorte, tell us about your little brother." I drew a picture of our childhood tree house on the white board and launched into this story:
One summer day, Matthew found a hammer and a brick. We had two friends over and we were playing in the backyard. I was dressed up like a princess. Matt and our friend Paul were on the porch of our tree house (which was really a stump house). They placed the brick on the railing. Matt took hold of the brick with one hand. Paul had the hammer and started pounding on the brick. All of a sudden, Paul missed the brick and the hammer landed on Matt's thumb. It took off his entire thumb nail and a bit of his thumb. I was sooo embarrassed because we rushed Matt to the doctors and I had to sit in the waiting room in my dress- up clothes.
My students LOVED this story. "Please tell us another one!" they cried. I replied, "Ok, just one more Matthew story." I told about another childhood injury which involved Matt, a balloon, a cabinet and lots of stitches. That had them crying for more. I told them I would tell them another Matthew story during story time (thinking they would forget). What was the first thing they asked when we sat down for story time? Yep, they wanted another Matthew story.... which turned into three more. At one point, they were talking during the story. I told them that they wouldn't be able to hear the end of the story if they continued to interrupt. I've never seen them get so quiet so quickly.
What appealed to my kindergartners about these "Matthew stories?" I think it's the way that my brother has always lived his life: full steam ahead! He has a way about him that people like instantly, even my little students half a world away. I am so lucky to have shared a childhood with such a funny and gregarious little brother. I am even luckier now that this funny, gregarious little brother has turned into a true friend. Happy birthday brother Matt!