January is a month to reflect. Along with the first snowfall comes renewed vigor, promise and for me, reflection. 2019 was a tough year for me personally. Several family members are dealing with grave illnesses. My mother also became ill, and in October I said goodbye to her physical presence in my life. My busy days at LANK don’t allow time for too much sadness. I am often helping in a classroom, sending an email, creating curriculum enhancements, or writing/revising an important document. And well….there is always the car pool line! On a daily basis I am kept busy with the business at hand, but with loss comes a certain hollow emptiness that is hard to put into words. It sneaks up at quiet moments, or when I least expect it.
However, what I can put into words is the wonderful spirit of generosity and kindness I found in the core of our staff. The people teaching your little ones care deeply, and surprised me in ways that I feel are important to share with you. I could try and articulate every teacher’s strengths, but instead what I think you should understand is that your children are being nourished by love.
On my arrival back to school I was greeted a by a huge basket of goodies. Each teacher contributed something they thought would brighten my day, and it did. I am now the owner of a white fuzzy bedroom jacket, a wonderful book that provides a daily meditation on grief, and some of the warmest socks a girl could wear. The cards with personal messages were heartfelt and save-worthy. But, there is more to this story.
While everyone was wonderful, there were a few moments of kindness that caused me to cry—not because I was sad, but because that kindness touched me more deeply than I imagined. Mrs. Olga Prytkov new to our staff, quietly left a home cooked Friday night dinner on my desk for many weeks following my return. It was simply the most caring act of love. It was just what I needed. There was the book given to me by Mrs.Tarbush titled: More Beautiful Than Before which provided me with wonderful wisdom. Those who know me, understand that for me, words provide comfort. There were even M&M’s. Mrs. Smith realized that I might enjoy a super-sized pack of M&M’s as I made my sojourn back and forth on the flights from DCA to Palm Beach. Lastly, there is Patty Marsh who continues to listen and provides what is always appreciated; a warm hug, and quiet understanding.
As we enter a new year, know that these are the people who care for your children. They will provide them with what matters most; respect, love, and sensitivity.