This little boy in Cole's class I had to make a separate entry about altogether. His name is Devon and he's the tiniest 4 year old I think I've ever seen. He comes up to my upper thigh, whereas Cole comes up to my waist practically. He sits contentedly by himself sometimes in the classroom, and I've noticed that he likes to make up songs and sing them to himself at a level only he can hear. His feelings get briused very easily, and he's very soft spoken. He's rather inquisitive and articulate for his age, and I learned what a magical child he is on Halloween.
I went to the school to help Cole's teacher with the goings-on and to read to the children I was told about something Devon had done that absolutely changed the way I feel about September 11th.
He had seen several news programs when all of this happened and the talk turned into terrorists and heroes. He asked his mother what a terrorist was. She told him that it was a bad person who wanted to hurt other people because they thought their reasons for it were good reasons, but they were not. Then he asked her what a hero was. She said that before the 11th, she might have told him that a hero was an athelete like Michael Jordan or an astronaut - but instead she told him that heroes were policemen and women, and EMT's, and firefighters. This introverted, shy four year old then told her "Mommy, I want to meet a hero."
She took him on the following Saturday to visit their local firestation. Upon arriving there she told the firemarshall what the situation was and that her young son had wanted to meet the station firefighters, he wanted to meet heroes. The firefighters came outside to meet Devon, and she said that he changed all of the sudden into someone she had never seen him be before. He stood straight up and puffed out his tiny chest, and one by one extended his little hand to greet his heroes.
The firefighters collectively were moved. She said that those who didn't weep openly got very teary-eyed. They took him on a field trip through the stationhouse and let him try on the firefighter's suits. He spent an hour with his heroes and has since been a more assertive and independent child according to his mother.
Everytime I go to pick Cole up from school now, I take the time to speak to him and ask him how his day has been. I look into his sweet little face and burn it into my memory as a reminder of what a hero looks like, no matter the age or size.