Have you ever had that teacher who answered “Do you have any children?” with “Yes! I have 21! You are all my children!!” (referring to her students)
Well. I have become her. That teacher who claims her students as her own. The teacher I didn’t even come close to understanding but understand more than I’d like to now.
One teacher, in particular, stands out in my mind- Mrs. Hebert. A WONDERFUL HS teacher, person, and someone I’d always really liked. She was “infertile” who shared her (abbreviated) struggle with us when those “Do you have kids?” questions came up. At the end of the school year, she and her husband finally conceived a little bundle via IVF after spending their savings and borrowing from friends and family. I specifically remember her reading “Love You Forever” to us and being unable to keep herself from crying and she read each page of this book children’s book chronicaling a little boys relationship with his mother and the quote she would whisper to him daily. “I’ll love you forever. Like you for always. As long as I’m living my baby you’ll be.” that book, that quote, that teacher and her story has stuck with me for 10 years. The irony of it all is shocking and the comfort from the experience is at best peaceful and at worst painful…. If that’s possible. (don’t question why my HS teacher read us a children’s book….. Lol.)
When I’m asked about my children…. Or when I would have some (as I was asked today) – I can’t help but think about the sadness of my circumstance but then consider the little lives I intentionally and unintentionally shape every day. The little people who perk up at my smile, kind words, & special “A.Mayes” hugs….. Those same kids who shamefully lower their heads at my disappointment and frustration in their behavior or performance. They are mine. They are my responsibility to for an entire 9 months (more irony) to shape, love, mold, & teach. They are entrusted to me. They depend on me. They look forward to me. And, I look forward and depend on them. Their desire to share “random fun facts” about their lives and the incredible, arbitrary hugs they give you are mood changing and telling of who you are to them. How sweet they are. How in need of love, attention, and guidance they are are just little reminders of their potential and the endless possibilities that await them.
How lucky I am to be blessed to have them, in addition to others who make my eyes sparkle. Hoping and working daily to be just as much a blessing to them as they are to me.
…. to loving forever and liking for always…. being open, appreciative, & receptive to what you’ve been blessed with….. to focusing on blessings.