Little did I know, when I entered that Kindergarten class last year that, as usual, I would be the person that learned the most. As a teacher for 30 years, I have come to expect anything. I noticed the tiny faces and one in particular that continuously watched me and seemed to be always in my range of vision. It took a few visits before I discovered why he was so intrigued with me. It was my hair!
He wanted to know who I was with hair that color. I told him that I was Santa Claus’ wife! His face opened in wide- eyed disbelief! I have always loved to stretch the imagination of anyone that I could, and I knew I had him hook, line, and sinker. Every time I visited to observe or assist in that classroom, he would silently slip up close to me and bring his work for me to examine and provide him with academic guidance. He used any opportunity to get to know me better.
He asked where my home was and how I could get back to the North Pole from his school. I would spin a yarn, mixing fairy tales such as explaining that clicking my heels got me back and forth from the North Pole in the wink of an eye. He took it all in with such innocence and wonder. As the year was coming to a close, I brought treats for everyone. I also brought a special present for him. I collect dream catchers, and I wanted to give him one. As I explained the Legend of the Dream Catcher, he snuggled close to me. He seemed to know that he would soon cease to see me on a weekly basis. I showed him the round circle that explained that good dreams would pass through the center hole to the sleeping person and the bad dreams would be caught and not pass to him.
I casually ask him what dream he wanted caught, and he looked at me with those gorgeous brown eyes and said, “I want to be safe!”
You could have knocked me over with a feather. I pulled him close and instantly knew that this sweet child had been drawn to me, and I to him for this moment. School is about learning but it is also about teaching all of us that if you open your heart to others they will teach you. Maybe, for a small space in time when we were together, we were both safe… #StoriesofIMPACT