“While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.”
Today I experienced something that I must share. I only wish I could type more quickly and write more eloquently so that you could sooner and better feel the warmth of the event that I am about to share with you. So l will do both to the best of my ability.
Earlier this morning I found out that a young student had been hit by a classmate that he had unintentionally bumped into. I was not looking forward to handling the situation because it appeared one-sided. And it was. When I finally got both first graders into my office, it became apparent rather quickly that one student was guilty and one was not.
I have found over time that these can be the most difficult situations to handle. Because in the end parents need to be contacted, and understandably so, the parent of the innocent child usually ends up angry.
What took place next was beautiful, touching, but most of all humbling.
I sat both boys down and allowed each one to share their side of what took place. After each child shared it became readily apparent that one child was at fault and one child was not. This fact was not lost on the child who was guilty. In fact, after both children were done sharing, the child who knew he was guilty began to softly cry as tears rolled down his cheeks.
Without a moment’s hesitation, the other young man said, “Don’t worry, it’s going to be okay.” And forgave his classmate without a second’s thought. As they left my office to return to class, the one young man was still crying. He knew he was wrong and he felt badly.
But as they left my office and began walking down the hallway, the child who was hit, put his arm around consoled his friend as they returned to class. Nevermind the fact that he had hit him earlier in the day. He was sad that his friend was sad and he wanted to be there for him.
One of my favorite Todd Whitaker quotes is “hurt people, hurt people.”
Well in this case I was able to witness the opposite: “loved people, love people.”
I knew what I had to do next. I had to call a parent and tell them that their child was hit. These are not easy calls to make, but this one was going to be different. I informed the parent that her child had been hit and that he really didn’t deserve to be hit. The mother on the other end of the line was listening intently, as any parent would who had just found out that their child was hit.
But what I got to do next felt wonderful. I got to share with this parent just how beautiful a person her child is. I got to compliment her on raising such a wonderful young man. I got to make her proud of her son. It was a wonderful feeling and we were able to share it.
I have to admit that many situations that start off like the one mentioned above don’t end this way. But this one did! And it made me feel good. It gave me hope that silver linings do exist and that they can take place when we least expect them.
As my son and I were driving home today the rain began to fall quite heavily and all I could think about was the fact that it was chilly and my son and I were going to get wet as we ran inside.
My son saw things differently. He jumped out of the car, opened his mouth and tried to catch as many raindrops as possible.
Once again, a child helped me find the silver lining.
I can’t wait to see what the next child has to teach me!