Over the weekend I had the joy of celebrating my son’s 19th birthday. Today, I’m taking dinner to the family of a two-year-old boy who’s battling leukemia. It’s a hard thing to get my head around. And I’m feeling so many emotions – most of all I’m so grateful for a strong, healthy kid. I’m also grateful for the love, kindness and encouragement that little boy’s mom showered on my son thirteen years ago. You see, she was my son’s first grade teacher.
I imagine everyone remembers, and hopefully loved, their first grade teacher. I remember mine with fondness. First grade was the first year my son was away from me all day five days a week. Kindergarten was a half day, and preschool was only three days a week. This was a kid who I had to pry off of my legs when he was in preschool. He’d cling and cry for me not to leave him. This, of course, was traumatic for both of us.
So first grade was significant. And having a fun, caring teacher who connected and bonded with my son was a huge relief. He had a great year, and we’ve remained friends with this special teacher. Now she has a son of her own. I can only imagine the fear and sadness she’s feeling as her precious boy undergoes painful, unpleasant procedures, in and out of the hospital, being poked and examined. Such hard things for a mom to watch.
I want to help, but there is so little I can do. So I offer small gestures and acts of kindness, and big prayers for healing for this adorable kid who always has a smile on his face, and is so very loved and cherished by his family.