I took the kids to meet my husband at his work for lunch.
They hadn’t seen him in days.
I was a tad bitter and low on patience from one too many days solo with the kids and my crankiness grew as someone knocked at his office door before I had even passed around the last of our sandwiches.
My bitterness balled into a lump in my throat as I saw the glassy eyes behind the knock at the door.
Watering saucers looked up at my husband and asked if he could talk. My husband crouched down to 10 year-old level, asked if everything was okay and when a little voice quivered “no,” he looked back at us with an apology on his face and left the room while I kicked myself for being so self-involved.
He was going where he needed to be.
Our kids were taken care of and he needed to be Mr. W more than he needed to be Daddy at that moment. My little ones are still young enough to spend their days in the comforts of home. When they argue or get called a name or can’t find a favorite toy, I am close enough to run to for comfort.
Soon enough they will spend nearly as much time at school as they do at home and I want them all to have a Mr. W or a Mrs. S (as my oldest does) or a Mr. Z whose door they can knock on when their eyes get glassy or when their stomach is in knots or if something just can’t wait until they step off the school bus.
I have never forgotten the teachers in my life who made my days easier, the ones who shaped my love of writing and poured confidence into my teetering self esteem.
What an amazing job to have.
I know the hours are long and the pay does not nearly cover them.
The investment most educators make in taking care of our children is so much more about heart than about time.
I think about my husband, how he will always get to be somebody’s Mr. W, probably a lot of somebodies. And how neat that is.
Maybe that teary-eyed little guy will always remember the time my husband dropped everything for him and want to be a principal when he grows up or maybe he skipped back to the playground and forgot what he was upset about to begin with. Either way my husband did his job. He did what every parent hopes for when they send their children off to school, he took care of their child as if he was one of his own. And there are hundreds of thousands of other educators who do the same thing every day.
So take an extra moment to thank your favorite educator for reassuring phone calls and extra emails and replacing forgotten lunch money with no expectation for repayment and all those other little things they do to make our children’s days easier that we may never even know about. Give them
a Starbuck’s giftcard for their wife flowers or a hug (unless it’s my husband and you’re super cute, in that case a handshake will do).
Many, many thanks to all of the educators out there for the home away from home you give to our children each and every day.
I hope you know you are appreciated every day just as much as you are this week.
Who was your favorite educator growing up? What do you remember most about them?
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