One of the perks of living in a somewhat small community is that I often run into families that belong to the children I’ve had the pleasure of teaching these past 20 years. (I know, I don’t look a DAY over 30, but that’s another topic altogether.)
I started my career in fifth grade, so many of the children from those years are in their **cough** twenties.
I love it when parents stop me to tell me of the adventures that the kids have experienced, the schools they are attending, and the various successes they’ve enjoyed.
Today was no exception.
I ran into Target for just a few items for school tomorrow: some googly eyes, Q-tips and puffballs. (Don’t ask.) As I was leaving, the mother of one of my previous students stopped me to let me know that her son Jack had just been accepted into medical school! I was not surprised by his success, and felt incredibly proud and pleased for Jack and his family. Jack had invited me one year to an award’s banquet after winning a contest I had prompted him to enter, and I felt a special connection to his family.
As she finished sharing her news, another mother walked by us and grabbed my hand. SHE had great news about HER son, and I turned my attention to her, as Jack's mother left the store.
She shared that her boy Matthew had recently graduated from a local technical college, and was awarded degrees in construction management and architectural something or other.
I don’t remember the last part, because honestly my eyes were tearing up after looking at a photo that she quickly pulled from her purse. He was standing proudly with his family, wearing an amazing graduation robe and holding a diploma.
I remember Matt as a spirited youth- a bit of a troublemaker with a quick smile and brilliant blue eyes. He was in and out of a bit of trouble for most of the years that he was in school. He was one of those bad boys that I had always hoped would find his way.
And apparently, he has.
THAT moment – that moment that reinforced my belief that ALL of us can succeed? That made my night.
And that is one of the reasons that I do what I do.
Because I hold in my heart the knowledge that each and every child matters, and each and every child can succeed.
(Now someone pass me some tissues- I'm all verklempt again.)