As a teacher, you aren’t supposed to cry in front of your kids. But, today was a hard day. Do you every have one of those weeks where you feel like you can’t win? Situations where you feel like you are doing everything in your power, giving 110%, but the cards are just stacked against you sometimes? One thing after another, built up to this morning, when a simple schedule change at the end of the quarter set my domino train of frustrations collapsing down. As soon as I sent my kids to their Japanese teacher, I burst out in tears, praying I could “suck it up” before my precious little Kindergarteners return. The tears weren’t for the lesson plans I had to rewrite, but for the last couple weeks where nothing could just be simple, or just work as planned. As they came back in, I got the waterworks under control and my classroom aide guided my tissue to get some stray mascara off my cheeks.
But, God sent me some needed grace today.
First, my classroom of five and six year olds, normally lagging in the morning, went through our morning routine with optimism, vigor, and enthusiasm. Dancing and singing, the kids flew through most languid part of their day. At one point during the morning, I got “hug tackled” by 18 of these crazy kids.
After working through lunch, I was again greeted by those little smiling faces. Little hints of spring are coming up around our playground. Teeny tiny flowers are growing in the grass, and my class ran into the room to show me these microscopic bouquets they picked for me during their recess break. I tell you what, a bouquet of weeds from these little ones shows more love than a dozen roses (unless you’re my husband reading this, then yes, I would like flowers please 😉 ) .
This afternoon, my boisterous class and I made a deal. If they were whisper-quiet, I would play Star Wars music during their math stations. On a rainy Friday afternoon, listening to some John Williams and having your 5-year olds work in peace and productivity, was truly a godsend.
Driving home on this dank and dreary afternoon, my eyes spotted little cherry blossoms budding. Here in Japan, that means a magical season of cotton candy colored trees is ahead. Today, in my dreary and despondent mood, I was blessed by simple kindness of my children. Like the cherry blossom buds, it was a little sign of hope that winter isn’t forever. Spring is coming.