The exact location of the fire station


I took this silly girl to the library when she was 6 or 7, and while I chatted with the librarian, I kept noticing a light scratching sound. I thought it might be her fingers, but when I paused to look, her fingers were sly.  They tucked away whatever-it-was too quickly, so when the librarian stepped away, I asked her to show me what she had in her hands.  With reluctance, she opened her fingers to reveal several matches.
“Where did you find matches?“ I gasped.
“Oh, just over there by the drinking fountain.” I may never know if this is true or not, but a bigger lesson was looming.
“Eliza,“ I asked, “Are you scratching those on the counter?“
She nodded.
“You are pretty smart kid. What do you think might happen if you scratch a match against the counter?  Do you think this would be a good place for a fire or a bad place for a fire?“

“Well, there’s a lot of paper and wood…”  My eyes were bulging now.  I think the veins in my neck were popping out.
“Which makes this a bad idea, right?”
She shrugged her shoulders. “The fire stations right over there, mom.” She was pointing directly toward the fire station, a block away.

This story demonstrates so many things to me, but the most striking is this:  She knew the exact location of the fire station! 

So many times since that day, I have come to understand that the behavior I see as impulsive and downright insane makes absolute sense to her- she has had every thought I am about to have, and maybe twenty more.  ADHD kids are 10 steps ahead of us all.  They are often the most perceptive, most observant kids I teach.  Eliza is no exception.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s