My office is located in the heart of the kindergarten hall cubbies. I love it when they poke their heads in and say howdy. Often, as I sit staring at my computer, I must seem like a piece of office furniture. Since they often forget I am there, I overhear some pretty great conversations.

One day last winter, kindergartners were getting ready to go outside for recess. This is often a lengthy ritual, narrated with gusto. In Minnesota, recess often demands layers of winter gear and persistence with zippers. Whatever the weather, recess always requires discussion about the play plan.

Here’s how it went that day:

Girl#1: “Let’s play tag today”

Boy#1: “Let’s play Harry Potter! With spells and wands!”

Chorus of agreement.

Girl#1: “I get to be Hermione!”

Boy#2: “I’m on your team. I wanna be Harry.”

Boy#1: “Who’s going to be Voldemort? He’s EVIL!”

Silence… Apparently no one was in the mood to play evil that day.

Girl#2, taking charge: “OK, We can play Harry Potter. But everyone needs to be nice to Voldemort and cast nice spells at him. If he has friends, he won’t want to be evil anymore.”

Brief silence, then general consensus as they all went outside to play.

I have often wondered how their version of the story played out that day at recess.