In my former job as a school-based physical therapist, one of the elementary students I worked with had low muscle tone and motor delays. One day after working on gross motor skills — hopping, jumping, galloping, and skipping — he was breathing a little heavily, so we took a rest. I noticed him glance sideways at me to be sure I was watching before he heaved his chest with each, exaggerated breath.
“You worked hard,” I praised on cue. “Good job!”
“My … ,” he began.
Used to his slow and careful speech, I waited expectantly.
“My … ,” he repeated and patted his chest.
I continued to wait, ready with an explanation of why his heart beat stronger during exercise. I was sure he was going to say his heart was beating fast.
“My … ”
Here is was. His beating heart. Soon to be followed by my little lesson about beating hearts.
“My brain is beeping!”
During the same therapy session, there was an announcement over the intercom that the custodian had found tar on the carpet.
“Teachers, can you please check students’ shoes?”
My somber, thoughtful, lovable student contemplated the announcement, then slowly turned to me.
“You can die from tar,” he said.
“Oh, I don’t think anyone will die from the tar,” I assured. “How would they die?”
Ever-so-patiently, my little patient informed me about tar.
“My grandpa has tar in his lungs. I guess he got it from his feet.”
🙂 Have a good week, readers, wherever you are in the world!