Gelila calls me her "home biscuit." I tell her she is my little cupcake.

She laughs: "No, Mrs. Bort, I am your 'jelly'!" Nelva and Mixi say they want to "chill with me." I agree that the air conditioning is pleasant. They burst into giggles. "No, Mrs. Bort! We want to chill with you -- you know, hang." So we hang at lunch. They tell me to brush off my shoulder, which collapses them into fits of giggles. A rap artist uses this action to "brush away the haters." I teach them seventh-grade science. They teach me seventh grade.

Nancy Bort


My sister visits with her young daughter. My delighted sons suggest activities. All decide to build a tent. They run upstairs to play. As we adults catch up on current happenings, the sound of kids running down the steps and out the front door reaches our ears. Slowly descending the steps we see one small girl with tears in her eyes. The tent was made, the stuffed animals placed, but now the boys were off to something new. She thought the game was just beginning, they thought the game was over. I am a single mom with the same dilemma.

Janice Stern


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