Janey* had tears in her eyes on the first day of preschool. The tears stayed for days and days. Our fragile looking student is a fair haired, blue-eyed beauty who we call “Princess”. She did not want to be at school.
The heart breaker was that she could look just fine from behind, sitting on the floor surrounded by building blocks. But then you’d look at her face and the tears were silently streaming. Janey cried quietly, not wanting to make a fuss. When we talked to her, she stared back into our eyes with the silent tears falling.
Two things were important to her in the following days of school. She would smile through her tears and whisper, “My blankets in my backpack!”. The memory that it was close was soothing to her little heart.
The other thing that could make our little blonde princess smile was collecting rocks in the playground. “These are for Nana!” she say with excitement and anticipation. We had to start limiting the number she could stuff into her pockets. She would carefully line them up with on the cement curb around the playground.
The quiet tears continued for a few weeks. But slowly we got to see a little smile emerge bit by bit. Janey has learned that we are safe. Recently that smile has grown big and full. Preschool is no longer a scary unknown place. Our Janey likes to be called a princess and loves to walk into the room full of friends. She has blossomed!
The teachers and kids all had three weeks off over the Christmas Break and we worried about how some of the nervous ones might not want to come back to school. My co-teacher and I stood at the entrance to our class ready to give hugs as each student came in.
Janey arrived with a big smile and two small gold colored boxes in her hands. She proudly offered them to us. She had brought each of us a back-to-school present! Inside the boxes were a little collection of her treasures, rocks. She pointed one out that was shaped like a heart!
Now it was my turn for silent tears.
* Not her real name.
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