My day was like any normal day…up at the break of dawn and out the door to start a very busy day with a class of twenty 5-year old’s. Now let me remind you, I love my job, or maybe I’m just saying this to remind myself (said with light laughter and repeating it again) “I love my job.”
There’s something rewarding about a roomful of young children who believe they are a “superhero” or a “princess.” There’s something rewarding about the child who looks up to you as a friend and not even thinking twice that you could be old enough to be their grandparent…Age doesn’t matter, nor does the color of your skin, hair or eyes. The only thing that matters is that you listen with an open heart, speak with an open mind and have open arms on those “not so super hero or princess days.”
It was Friday, March 25th, 2011…I remember it well. Just like every class, there always seems to be that one child who knows how to push your buttons at the exact moment you really don’t want them pushed. As the role model, and the more mature, wiser one…I tried to reason with this five-year old boy who thought it was appropriate to run around the room and hide under furniture while the remaining nineteen other children thought it was time to play Follow-the Leader. Needless to say, not the best scenario, but I was able to maintain some control and gain order back into the classroom that defies the very thought of order or control. Once again…I repeat…”I love my job.” 🙂 I reminded myself often of the ancient proverb, “this too shall pass” and I hoped it would pass quickly. This five-year old boy not only pushed my buttons once but several times throughout the day, the weeks and the year. If patience is a virtue, I should have been getting much closer to obtaining this one!
The hands on the clock said 2:45 when I heard this soft, innocent voice say, “Here Ms. Laura, I brought this for you,” as he handed me a purple sucker-pop. I, of course, hugged him and said, “Thank You,” while realizing that the sucker had been partially eaten. I tried convincing him to keep it but he insisted so I graciously accepted the gift and placed it on a shelf. A few minutes later, I noticed him running from the direction of the shelf as he lined up at the door to catch the bus. Just then, I heard a faint, “Bye, Ms. Laura”, as the voice echoed out the door and down the hallway. I glanced over and the partially eaten purple sucker-pop was gone.
The thought of him handing over his only treasure was a crucial moment for both of us. It is challenging to create an environment of kindness and generosity in a classroom of young children but this child had learned, at that moment, how to give with a repentant heart and I had learned to never under-estimate the power of a pre-schooler. This young, five-year old boy’s push-button persistence had turned my weakness into a strength and at that moment, with a smile on my face, I realized I would never forget him or his gift.
No matter how many buttons are pushed, may we always have the desire for this child-like self-examination that is willing to give from the heart and learn from those half-eaten Purple Sucker-Pop Moments.
This article is © Copyright – All rights reserved