I have a very sweet class this year. They are struggling readers and writers, but they have big hearts.
The morning we got back from Christmas Break, I gave the children time to share their stories about their trips, their presents, and the fun they had over break. After being apart for two weeks, I gave them time to visit with each other to catch up. I then let them share with the class how their winter break was. Some shared their favorite present, some shared their favorite time with their family, and some shared how much they enjoyed just having some time off. After everyone was finished I heard someone say,
“Wait….. Mrs. White…. How was your break?”
I didn’t get into details, but I told them that my dad was admitted into the hospital on Christmas Day. I told them he had a sick heart and will have to have surgery in the next couple weeks. I didn’t cry. I was very matter-of- fact. Without hesitation, the boy whose name I say at least 10 times a day for one reason or another, came from the back of the room right up to the chair I was sitting in and wrapped his arms around me. He quietly said,
“I’m so sorry, Mrs. White.”
Then, of course, I had a line behind him wanting to give me a hug. I expressed my appreciation and asked that they go back to their seats. It was a very touching moment for me that this student didn’t think twice about showing his concern and just instinctively came and gave me a hug.
As the day went on, I heard stories from my students about sick grandparents and other relatives. I heard stories about surgeries and rehab. One boy explained that his grandma had heart surgery and she’s doing great now! He was so excited to tell me that it will be okay.
One quiet, sweet, girl in my class comes to my desk every morning. She stands next to me and she quietly asks,
“How’s your dad?”
She never misses a day! I would tell her about his progress and sometimes show her pictures. One time I told her that my dad and mom were coming to stay with me for a while after he leaves the hospital. She quietly said,
“So you have to take care of your dad and teach us…..that’s a lot!”
How sweet is this special little girl to even have an understanding of what I’m going through? Last week she came up to me and asked her same question. But this time she said she was worried because I looked sad that morning. I try not to bring anything personal to my daily teaching, but I guess the look on my face worried her. I actually was okay that day, and not sad. Maybe I didn’t have enough makeup on. (yikes)
This morning, sure enough, that sweet soul stood next to me and asked,
“How’s your dad?”
Today I showed her pictures of my dad at home. I was able to tell her that my dad is doing better. My dad is happy to be home! We stood at my desk as I scrolled through pictures of my dad and mom explaining “the homecoming.” She smiled and said,
“I’m glad your dad is doing better. You look like your mom.”
Some kids just get it…. I don’t know if it’s because they have had experiences in their life, or if they are just “old souls” that understand adult experiences. Whatever it is, I feel blessed to be surrounded by these children who bring me joy, one way or another, every day.