Sixth graders are sweet. I sometimes feel like they are too young to be exposed to their older middle school peers who taint them in only a few short months. These first few weeks when they get to class right on time, when they hug me at the door, when they giggle over Junie B. Jones books, they melt my heart. This allows me to love them all year even when they start the eye rolls, shoulder shrugs, and mumbles.
Today, a student brought me a quart bag of Concord grapes picked from his dad's yard. He took the time to take each grape off of the stems. He didn't know that Concord grapes remind me of my grandparent's house when we would sneak and eat the grapes on Grandpa's vines. To eat properly, you had to slide the firm little eyeball out of the skin and spit out the sour skin. Grandma's shelves would be lined with pretty purple grape juice with little shriveled up grapes floating in the top. I remember always requesting, and getting, a few of those little grapes in my juice glass.
I planned on taking pictures. I planned on saving some for Frick and Frack. But I didn't plan on how good they would taste and how much each bite reminded me of some other time. I ate them all.
That boy, no matter how much the teenage-angst will consume his soul for the next few years, no matter how cool he will become and pretend not to know his sixth grade teacher, will always have a place in my heart for this kindness and thoughtfulness.