This was from September 2005 and I still remember all the details of this meeting with this little girl. I also thought it was interesting to be reminded that her name was Sarah. 🙂
I walked into a new school today and had to wait in the principal’s office until I could see the woman that I had came to see. The secretary asked me if I could wait 8 minutes. I said sure, not a problem, just thank heaven’s it wasn’t 6 or 13. Eight I could do. So I sat down and started to wait my allotted minutes.
To my immediate left was a little girl, who may have weighed in at 37 lbs soak and wet. She was curled up in a fetal position with her thumb in her mouth and her hands over her eyes. Her fingers were splayed out just enough to keep a close eye on me and any sudden moves I might make. I smiled at her and said hello and told her that I liked her black and pink sketchers. She turned further into the corner and her shirt came up a bit. She had Tuesday panties on. I remembered having them as a kid, but I never remembered getting the days right. Kudos to this one who nailed it bang on.
About 3 minutes into my 8 minute wait, the little girl’s teacher arrived with her lunch. Apparently she was in the office for reasons unbeknownst to myself, but very clear in both the student’s and
teacher’s eyes. Her teacher had brought her lunch. Little Miss Tuesday said that she wanted to eat with the rest of the kids. Teacher said no and to remember why she couldn’t. She remembered and didn’t fuss and opened up her lunch kit. Teacher left a few moments later and the girl sniffed. Her nose had started to run and she was knee deep in a ham sandwich. “Would you like me to get you a kleenex?” I asked her. She nodded and said “yes please” in a little voice that was quiet, yet clear. I got her a kleenex. She wiped her nose but couldn’t get it all. “Need a hand?” I asked. “Yes please”. “Ok, blow from your toes!” She blew from her toes.
She proceeded on with her sandwich and when I sat back down beside her, she looked at me and said “My name is Sarah. Thanks for helping me blow from my toes”. It came very clear that Sarah was more than just a little girl. There was something as inexplicable as wisdom that seemed to come from somewhere inside of her. I smiled, told her that it was my pleasure to both help her and to have the honour of meeting her. I was reminded in the most crystal clear kind of fashion as to why it is that I want to teach – Because no matter how rotten kids may be for a time, that moment of rottenness is only a moment and the rest of them still matter. And sometimes you just need a little encouragement and an extra hand to blow from your toes. No matter how big or little you may be.
Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894)