“There’s a new kid in my class,” she says looking like she wants to say more.
“Oh yeah?” I ask reservedly. Something’s going on. The way she said it…
“Yeah.” She pauses. “Nobody really wants him to be with us.”
I see her now — wrestling little heart who wants her teacher to be happy and her classmates to be free. “Why is that?” I gently inquire.
“He’s kind of mean,” she reflects as she disappears into a moment from the day before.
Thousands of years of primal dad instinct kick in. Danger to the tribe. Alert. Alert. Alert. I’m going in. The arguments start to form in my head. What is that principal thinking? I’ll ask the teacher about it in the afternoon. He better not hurt my kid…
“But he’s probably struggling with some of his own stuff,” the 4th grade Beauty offers hopefully. “Maybe our class will be better than his other one.”
I turn to her and smile, shaking my head in delight as the first bell rings: “I love you.”
It’s 7:43 am. She opens the minivan door and moves into her world, step after merciful step. She smiles subtly back at me. She knows she’s the child in this relationship. But she also knows that I’m still learning. And these 1 minute conversations are a gift to us both.