The white gloves now securely on my hands, I placed the red and white hat upon my head and turned to face my four year-old daughter. “Well?” I said. “What do you think?” My daughter regarded me thoughtfully, then turned to consider the cover of the book I had just placed upon the coffee table. Looking at the book. Then looking at me.
“You need whiskers, Papa.”
At that point, I heard my wife from the kitchen. “We’ve got that covered, honey! Come on in here, Papa.” As I walked to the kitchen, I felt myself being followed by a still-pajama’ed four year-old. In her hand, my wife held a black make-up pen. Placing the pen on my face, she said to my daughter, “You’re right, baby. The Cat in the Hat needs whiskers.”
Today was the birthday of the beloved Dr. Seuss. So, as the Literacy Specialist in a middle school, I thought it appropriate to try and create a bit of nostalgic, albeit silly, fanfare in my building.
Two hours later, as our students disembarked from their buses and entered school, the Cat in the Hat greeted them. “Happy Read Across America Day!” I chirped. And what were those expressions on their faces? Those smiles? Those reactions? What was behind them? In many, I thought I may have detected . . . just maybe . . .a sentiment of, “Yes, I remember that time. A time when reading was fun. A time I sat on someone’s lap. A time no one tested me on my reading. A time now lost.” Maybe that wasn’t the look. Maybe I got it wrong. Maybe.
But in any case, I do believe my efforts brought a smile to the face of many that day. And that makes the silliness worth it in my book.