Just Like A Bunch of Pillows
First Grade Teacher
Just Like a Bunch of Pillows.....
It was a hot humid Georgia afternoon, the smell of the Magnolia trees and Honeysuckle's drifting in the breeze. It was 1962, the year we sent John Glenn into space to orbit the earth, John F. Kennedy was our President and we were all living in Camelot. It was recess, I was in first grade.
We were all outside on the playground playing snake. Snake is a game where children all hold hands and run in an "S" formation as fast as they can making the end child fly around like a balloon in the wind. That particular day I was the end child. As we zinged and zagged back and forth I lost my balance. My friend and classmate let go of my hand and down I went crashing into the red Georgia clay, face first. Everyone stopped and they were so angry and I began to cry. The little boy in front of the line stated "She is so stupid and it's because she is adopted." Children can be so cruel. I did not want to get up, the embarrassment Is still with me to this day.
My first grade teacher walked over, gently lifted me off the ground and took me inside to wash off my dress and apply antiseptic on my skinned and bruised knees. She took this moment to teach me a very important life lesson. She peered at me over her half glasses and told me "It really doesn't matter what others feel about you, it's much more important how you feel about yourself." This lady with eyes of coal and cheeks of cherry, handed me a silver platter of self-esteem. As she hugged me that afternoon it felt as though I was hugging a whole bunch of pillows.
She Will Always Remain my Favorite Teacher
Sixteen years flew by, I graduated High school, had returned from my European adventure and I was now pregnant with my second son. It was a beautiful bright sunny Saturday and I found myself riding by this teachers old resident and to my dismay there was her name printed on her mailbox with large bold black letters.
I passed her home and thought why not, so I slowly backed up and pulled into her driveway. As I sat there I could not help but wonder if she would remember me. I very slowly exited my car and as I approached her front door. I saw an old silver washtub lying by the side of the front porch.It was a replica of the one she had utilized to teach me how to Bob for apples in way back on that Halloween of 1962.
I rang her doorbell and I waited patiently, only seconds passed when the front door suddenly opened and there she was looking much older and wiser. Her eyes were still peering at me over those same half glasses and her cheeks were still like cherries. She jerked open the screen door and called me by name and she hugged me and it was still lfelt like I was hugging a bunch of pillows.
I took this rare moment to thank her sixteen years later for a lesson well taught. I have since felt the need to impart this wonderful wisdom this beautiful lady imparted to me to my children.
It has now been 39 years since that hot humid afternoon on the playground. I can still smell the honeysuckles and the Magnolia trees on the the soft southern breeze that will always remain with me. A lesson learned and wisdom imparted by a wonderful gracious woman who felt just like a whole bunch of pillows.