Attune

It’s Friday! We made it a whole week! My gift to myself is a 9 o’clock bedtime tonight…

My co-teacher and I have one of our students from last year again. I was so happy because this student came to class every single day this week. 
“Look at how well you’ve done this week! You came every day!”

“Yes! I will be here every day, ma’am,” she promised. 

“We sure hope so.”

It pained me that she didn’t pass last year, but I’m hoping this year will be a chance for her to prove to herself how well she can do–a year of growth and maturity. 

*****

I was in the bathroom this morning after our faculty meeting, looking in the mirror, and I was inwardly lamenting all the hair I’ve lost since having my baby (obviously worth it, but still). I have an autoimmune disease called alopecia areata (among other things), which basically means my body attacks its own hair follicles. A few years ago I got steroid shots in my scalp several times to fight this disease and was declared to be in remission two years ago. Then I had Jonas and it started to come back. 
Anyway, long story just to say: I was mourning the full curls I used to boast. And feeling somewhat self-conscience. 

Back in the classroom, just moments later, a student was sitting behind me, waiting patiently for her turn for math help. As she was waiting, she commented, “Mrs. Peterson, I just LOVE your hair. I love your curls.”

Oh I could have (and should have)  dropped everything and thrown my arms around her. Instead I just looked her in the eyes, thanked her, and told her that meant so much to me. 

Is there something about kids that makes them more attune to our needs and emotions? Is this something we lose over time? I think about Jonas and how he gets so excited to see me. Every. Time. Even if I’ve been standing there the whole time: if he realizes that I’m there, his face lights up like he just can’t handle it. 
Why do we lose that, I wonder?

That’s something I’ve noticed both in my biological kid and in my school kids–they know how to make me (and each other) feel so valuable. (They know how to do the opposite quite well also, but this is not the space for that. 😉 )

I don’t know why adults aren’t as good at this (or at least, I know I’m not). I know I don’t light up every time someone I care about enters the room. I know I don’t compliment to the extent I see some of my students doing so…

But acceptance is the first step to recovery, right? 🙂 

I love being with these kids. Even on the days/weeks that are exhausting, I do love what I do and being in my “natural habitat,” as Brett calls it. It’s going to be a good year. We’re going to continue to learn so much from each other…

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