I found myself in a weak moment today.
I was interrupted from my morning lesson planning
by a knock on my classroom door.
A former student and her two younger siblings.
“Mrs. D,” she said. “I brought you this note I wrote you.
I didn’t know yesterday was your birthday.”
She handed me a folded sheet of binder paper,
decorated with purple hearts, my favorite color.
I’ve received notes from students before, but none like this one.
I’d like to consider myself a tough teacher.
I hold in my laughter and sense of humor often.
I try to be strict.
My parents would tell you I’m the teacher who never smiles.
But as I stood and read this note,
the tears welled up and there was no stopping them.
I hugged her and thanked her,
and almost accidentally shooed her away and closed the door.
I wasn’t ready to let a student see me cry.
29 was a good birthday, but not the best.
After that note though, it was better than good.
Thanks to students like Alexa, a little extra sunshine brightened up this birthday.
I hope I never forget this day.