I wrote this to Harrison several months ago. When he’s grown up, I will share it with him. Now, I’d like to share it with you.
Today you woke up full of energy and ready to begin a new adventure. Today I woke up and checked my email. You wanted to play and hug and eat cheerios. I wanted to drink my coffee and have a moment of peace and figure out why Amazon hadn’t delivered the package I had ordered. You did some naughty things even before we left for preschool and deep inside I knew you just wanted me to pay attention to you rather than making phone calls to the post office. Really, I knew you had it right all along, but my day went on and I dropped you off at school and headed for the gym.
Just so you know, that package had THE ONE present you wanted for Christmas inside. And I found it. And it was delivered later today. And even if it hadn’t been; no big deal, really. But between the time I dropped you off at school and the time I picked you up, something happened.
After I addressed the package delivery debacle, I took a few laps around the track. I saw the daycare kids playing on the mats in the lower gym. All of the children had taken their shoes and socks off and they were prancing, with their tiny feet, all about the gymnastics mats. They merrily followed one behind the other, playing some game instructed by their teacher. It made my heart warm and happy. Then I looked in the corner and I noticed one little barefooted boy sitting by himself. I could tell he wasn’t sitting out because he didn’t want to play. He had been placed in that corner by an adult. He had been naughty, and that was the consequence. I saw that little blonde haired boy sitting up on his knees, doing everything he could to sit still. I saw him watch anxiously, wanting to play and wanting to follow along. I saw his little bare feet tap his little bare toes on the blue mat, and I knew in an instant that that boy would be you someday. Someday you would have too much energy and excitement for whatever program you were involved in and you would be separated. In a way, that’s what I did to you this morning. And I knew then that I needed to change. I needed to embrace your excitement and energy and love.
How many times did I separate those energetic, happy boys from my own classroom? How many times did I stifle the very life of a child? I don’t know, but I’m sure it wasn’t just a few times. Harrison, you are making me a better person, better mom, and better teacher just by being you. I hope that you can bear with me as I grow with you. I love you.