I don’t usually talk about my preschool teaching days here. Years of confidentiality agreements and never wanting to disturb anyone’s privacy, I’ve kept the stories of the children whom I cared for safe in my head and heart. But, last night we had a special guest for dinner, one of my former students whose family was in town for the day. And I was so excited to have her and her family over, I just had to write about it here today.
It’s strange how one can care for other people’s children with so much love and respect. I know many people who could never do it. But I often felt like I could easily adopt because of how much I loved some of the children in my care. In fact it had been a bit of an occupational hazard for me, falling in love with other people’s children, because that was just it- they weren’t mine. I couldn’t take them home with me at the end of the day. And when certain children transitioned out of my classroom to an older classroom, it was often terribly hard for me to let them go. It wasn’t every child that I felt this way about. I liked all of the children in my care but I didn’t love all of them. In fact it was a very small percentage of them. I had so many children come and go through my life, throughout my career, I wouldn’t have been able to handle being a preschool teacher otherwise. But there was that small handful of children who touched me. Children who connected with me on a deeper level. This little girl who came to visit was one of them. And it was so neat to watch one of my favorite students play with my own daughter. After years of caring for other children I finally have my own and my two worlds of teacher and mother collided. It was a lovely dinner and a lovely visit. An evening I will cherish as a mother and as a former preschool teacher.