30 Day Writing Challenge
Chiqui couldn’t stop fidgeting in bed. She was not asleep but she kept her eyes closed until she heard her dad walk up and walk to the bathroom. As soon as she heard the door close, she launched herself out of bed and sprint to her parent’s room where her mom was just waking up.
Jumping on the bed with all her little might, Chiqui screamed at the top of her lungs, “Mami, mami, mami! It’s time for school! Mami, wake up!”
Mom smiled at Chiqui’s excitement. “Ya esta bien, estoy despierta, okay Chiqui, vamos al baño” Okay, I’m awake, okay Chiqui, to the bathroom. Chiquirushed back down the hall to get her towel and ran past her dad getting out of the bathroom. Without looking up she shrieked, “Papi, it’s MONDAY! Can’t talk now, getting ready for school!” Dad laughed as he put both his hands up, “Okay Little One, don’t hurt yourself now!”
Mom walked out of the bedroom and down the hall to the bathroom to help Chiqui in the tub. Clean and shiny, Chiqui quickly ran into her room to put on her brand new uniform, new shoes and, best of all, her new backpack. She’s been to school before but that was pre-school, now that she’s a big girl, she gets to go to Kindergarten. The best part is that some of her friends will be there too! They will get to do cool, big girl things, like learn to read and write their names! Chiqui is most excited about writing her name because she knows the alphabet, and she knows her name, but she doesn’t know how to spell! Kindergarten will teach her how to spell, and she will be able to spell her name on the playground with chalk like the bigger girls do. She can’t wait!
Mom, Dad and Chiqui arrive to her classroom and she looks around. Wow, it doesn’t look like her pre-school classroom. This classroom has tables and chairs, and a chalkboard and rug and shelves that have lots of books. Chiqui smiles at the books, one day she will be able to read just like Mami and Papi. Her teacher sees them and walks over, “Good morning, I’m Ms. Brown, how are you?”
Mom introduces the family to Ms. Brown, “Good morning Ms. Brown, my name is Helena, and this is my husband Jose Manuel. This here is Little One, Siobelkis.” Chiqui looks up at Ms. Brown and adds, “Or you can call me Chiqui! Chiqui is short for Chiquita! It means Little One is Spanish!” Ms. Brown has a warm and welcoming smile as she greets Chiqui, “Chiqui sounds lovely, I’ll call you that if it’s okay with you.” Chiqui is pleased because she’s always loved her nickname, Mami says it is unique just like her.
Now Ms. Brown points to a seat at one of the tables where Chiqui should sit. Chiqui runs to the table and takes her seat, she looks up at her parents and waves goodbye. Mom and Dad each send her a flying kiss and leave the classroom. Chiqui is a big girl now and she knows Mami and Papi will be back after school to pick her up. Right now though, she can’t wait to get started!
More and more children start to arrive until every seat in the classroom is full. Chiqui looks around and waves excitedly at her friends; there’s Sarah and Amy, Julie, Davie, and his twin brother Drew. There are some other children that she’s seen at the playground but hasn’t played with before. Maybe she will make new friends now that she’s a big girl. Ms. Brown grabs a stack of papers from her desk and hands one out to each child. As she passes them out, she let’s the class know that their first assignment is to write their names. Chiqui jumps in her seat and claps her hands together. This is it!
When all the children have a piece of paper, Ms. Brown says, “Okay children, time to get to work, I want everyone to share the crayons in the center of the table and start drawing a picture of themselves. I will be going around and helping everyone write their names at the top of their picture. Then we will hang our pictures up so that everyone learns each other’s names.” All the children reached out to grab the crayons and Chiqui got to work on her self-portrait. She’d practiced drawing herself many times before with Mami. She new her skin color was tan, like a caramel and her hair was curly like her Papi’s.
Chiqui was pretty happy with her drawing by the time Ms. Brown came to her side. “Okay Chiqui, time to write your name. Do you know your letters?” Yay! Chiqui knew all her letters, she happily nodded her head with enthusiasm. “Very good,” said Ms. Brown. “Do you know the letters in your name?” Oh! This puzzled Chiqui, she knew her letters and she knew her name, but what letters were in her name? With a pout she relied, “No Ms. Brown, will you teach me?” Ms. Brown’s warm smile was encouraging, “Of course I will.” Then she took her pencil from the pocket in her jacket and touched Chiqui’s paper. Ms. Brown’s smile began to fade. Her pencil left Chiqui’s paper and she walked away towards her desk.
Chiqui looked at her paper and there was no letters on it. She looked up at Ms. Brown who was frowning at a book in front of her. Oh no, thought Chiqui. Is there something wrong with her name? Does her name not have letters? She didn’t understand. She looks around and found her friend Amy tracing over the letters of her name. She turned and saw Drew tracing the letters of his name. Everywhere she looked, the children where tracing the letters in their names. This made Chiqui really sad because her name was broken and their were no letters to trace. She could not help herself and started crying. Ms. Brown heard her crying and looked up from her book. Then she grabbed a piece of paper and wrote something quickly on it and walked back to Chiqui’s table.
“What is wrong Little One? What made you upset?,” asked Ms. Brown. Chiqui began sniffling and said between sobs, “My name is broken, it has no letters!” Ms. Brown grabbed a nearby chair and sat next to her, “Oh my dearest Chiqui, your name isn’t broken, it does have letters, see here, I wrote it down on this piece of paper.” Chiqui stopped crying long enough to look at the paper. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. Chiqui counted 9 letters. She looked up at Ms. Brown, “ Where did you get that?” Ms. Brown smiled again, “Oh it was in my attendance book, it is a book where everyone’s name is written. I was not sure how to spell your name so I went to my attendance book and copied it onto this piece of paper.”
Chiqui was puzzled, “I don’t get it, Ms. Brown, why did you know how to spell everyone else’s name but not mine? My name must be broken!” Ms. Brown put her hand on Chiqui’s shoulder and said, “Oh Little One, something magnificent has happen. I’ve learned something new. I knew how to spell everyone else’s names because I have seen their names before and I’d memorized how to spell them, but I’d never seen your name before. This is why I had to look it up and now that I’ve done that, I’ve learned how to spell a new name. Isn’t that wonderful?”
Chiqui shakes her head, “But Ms. Brown, it isn’t a new name! I’ve had it all my life, it’s 5 years old!” Ms. Brown laughs and replies, “You are right, it is not a new name, but it is new to me. And the magnificent part of meeting new people is that sometimes they teach you something that is not new to them but it is new to you. We are all different from each other, and sometimes we find things that make us similar, but it is the spread of knowledge that connects us all. Now that you have taught me something new, you and I are connected, isn’t that magnificent?”
Chiqui didn’t know what magnificent meant, but it sounded like something she wanted to be! “Ms. Brown,” she began, “If you learned something from me and it was magnificent, does that mean I am magnificent too?” Ms. Brown slowly shock her head up and down, “Yes indeed. You are Siobelkis, the Little One, Chiqui, the Magnificent.”