Last week, when we took our field trip to the beach, I sat next to Cindy on the way back. She, like the rest of the sprouts, was tired and quiet from all the sun and salty air. About halfway back to school, she looked up at me and said, “You know, we don’t have school on Monday.”

I’m always tickled when kids tell me something I already know and think I don’t (like when Luther arrived that morning and asked me if I knew we were going on a field trip today…). It never occurred to Cindy that I didn’t know we had Monday off.

“Yes, I know, but do you know why we don’t have school?” I asked her.

“Um… so we can have a barbeque?” She offered.

“Not really,” I replied.

“Is it because it’s getting warmer and nice out?” She tried again.

“Well it is warmer and lots of folks have barbeques, but we have the day off because of Memorial Day,” I began.

I could see the blank look on her face.

“Memorial Day is a day we take off to honor all the soldiers and people who have fought in wars for our country's freedom,” I explained.

Summing up complicated ideas and concepts in one sentence is a skill needed when working with five and six-year-olds.

“We’ll talk more about Memorial Day tomorrow and next week,” I assured her.

With that she closed her eyes and rested until we arrived back at school. The next day, when I asked about Memorial Day, Cindy had her hand proudly waving. She knew why we take this day of remembrance off.

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