My grandfather always told me that a little girl lived in the water-tower by his house and that if I paid enough attention, I would notice her stocking hanging out of the little window to dry. To this day, when I go home to Denmark, I pass that water-tower knowing that his story is probably not true and yet I wonder. My grandfather gave me that gift; that little spark of curiosity that kept me focused and interested even beyond my curious years.
I try to pass that on to my students. I don’t make up stories as much as he does, but rather leave them with a spark of curiosity. I proudly exclaim that I do not know the answers and how will we ever find out? I ask them to seek their wonder, to allow their mind to ponder, and to take some time to reflect.
The day passes by and we do our curriculum and yet we try to squeeze something out of every minute we have to give us some extra time to wonder. We wonder out-loud, we wonder silently, sometimes alone, sometimes as a group. We speak of it because that provides it a legitimate place in our classroom. We cherish it and we laugh about it. Not all wonderings are meant to be explored. The gift that my grandfather gave me I now pass on to my students. A fitting legacy for the man that means the biggest part to me, the man whom we chose to name Theodora after, the man who now is in the twilight of his life. Every time I drive by a water-tower I wonder if there is a little girl upset that her stockings are always wet, looking for a window to hang them from and then I wonder whether he remembers?
As my grandfather slowly succumbs to ill health, I keep him in my thoughts, knowing that I made him proud.