Today, I had one of those moments. You know the ones, in which everything just sort of happens and falls into place. In which it all feels so decidedly right. In which you feel valued and valuable. I had a prolonged one of those moments, thanks to a fantastically sweet little girl.
She’s the little sister of Daughter’s bestie, and she came along on the play date. I’m always happy to have her because she and I talk. She’s smart, funny, has a really high emotional intelligence, and a genuine love of cool things. There’s always something to talk about. But really, the moment had started he say before.
You see, a lovely old friend asked me if I could help with a teaching issue. There was a parent looking for books for her child, and I was asked to recommend some. They were for a second grade child who is behind in reading ability. While I had been known as the teacher who could always find the books, I was most out of my element with the little ones. I didn’t have an answer for that text other than, “I’ll have to think and get back to you.”
Then here comes Little Sister. She just so happens to be a second grader, so as we start to chat I ask her if she can help me out with a fellow second grader across the country. I need to know what books are just awesome. She tells me her absolute favorite and we start to chat about the author. Turns out I have some books of his that she doesn’t know and she reads a bit while she pets Dog the Elder, who happens to adore this little girl.
After she reads on her own for a while, she finds another book and asks me to read it to her. Daughter hears me start to read. She grabs her friend, and it’s story time. The book we’re reading? It’s complex. There’s a lot to talk about. So we talk. Math patterns. Language stuff. Puns. All sorts of word play. We laugh.
In this moment, on my living room couch, I am a teacher again. It is everything it used to be. It is fulfilling and an extraordinary joy. I had truly forgotten that I had the ability to feel this. I cannot remember the last time I felt this completely perfectly content in a moment. Before the cancer. Before the move. Before the horrible neighbor person destroyed my confidence. This is how I felt in those best moments. I will never be able to properly thank this child for her gift to me, but I will certainly try.