The end of the day was kind of hectic today. This is my week for bus line duty so I’m supposed to report down the hallway to make sure the students who ride busses home are in line and exiting the building appropriately. Meanwhile, my homeroom students were passing through my unattended classroom, which made me nervous because I don’t have another teacher next to my classroom this year to keep an eye on it for me. Also, today was scholastic bowl practice and I knew those students would be waiting in my room for me. I think they know to just take a seat and wait, because I usually need a little bathroom break before we begin practice, but today I felt extra nervous. I have known for a while that I have a strong intuition and I have friends that even believe I’m psychic. Today, I was having a feeling that something was going wrong in my classroom and I needed that bus line to hurry along so that I could get back!
On my way, Leo found me as I entered the junior high area of the school, almost to my classroom.
“Your vase broke,” he informed.
“The one behind your desk.”
I knew it! Someone must have been horsing around and clumsily knocked over my clay vase from Peru, which was behind my desk where students weren’t even supposed to go in the first place! I was so mad! I didn’t even want to walk back into my classroom to see the scene. As I walked in, everyone was quiet, sitting down, waiting for me to yell at whomever was the culprit. Madeline had collected the clay chards from ground to present to me. “Why was anyone even behind my desk?!” I snapped.
Immediately, Demarco came forth.
“Is there anyway that I can buy you a new one?” he asked sweetly. My cold, irritated heart instantly began to thaw. He felt so terrible and I empathized.
“No, Demarco, it’s from a small village in Peru that I visited a few years ago. It’s ok, just don’t be behind my desk again.” I was still a little disappointed that I Ieft my room unattended for about 5 minutes and something was broken in that time. I noticed that the leftover coffee in my thermos from this morning was also spilled. I started wiping it up while the students got in their groups for scholastic bowl practice.
Then, Demarco came up to me with tears in his eyes! “May I go to the bathroom?” It was evident that he felt badly for his mistake and was probably a bit embarrassed. I followed him to the hallway so that we could talk privately.
“Demarco, please don’t cry. I love you and I’m just glad that you’re sorry, but the truth is, I don’t care much about material possessions. It matters more to me that you are ok. I was upset at first that the vase was broken and coffee spilled, but now I forgive you. Seriously, it’s ok. OK?”
He smiled and said “Ok, thank you” and went to the bathroom to wash his tears away.
He came back for practice, but was kind of quiet and hid behind the other students for most of it.
Now, an hour after scholastic bowl practice ended, I’m still thinking about Demarco. I truly hope that he isn’t still feeling badly because it doesn’t matter. Mistakes happen. I’m proud of him for owning his mistake and immediately trying to offer to fix it. There are adults that don’t even do that. He is a sweet boy with a good heart and he wouldn’t ever damage something on purpose. I hope he’s smiling and playing outside right now on this warm, beginning of springtime, afternoon without a care in the world. Kids shouldn’t have to cry over spilled coffee or broken vases. Sending you love, Demarco.