While sitting back in a teacher- friend’s room for lunch, a sweet child-like event awakened laughter from the depths of my being.
I often visit my friends who teach in the Special Education Resource room. Angie was getting a game for two boys when I happened to notice the first grader’s voices. One I recognized; the other was new.
“Do I hear someone who I haven’t gotten a hug from yet,” I called over the cubicle, expecting a smiling response. J was a first grader I worked with all year last year twice daily, who struggled with staying focused for 20 seconds to learn anything. Although he drove his teacher crazy and gave me some gray hair as well, I love the kid! J stood his full height that was to my hip line and could smile and make me melt.
J responded, “Who? Jacob (naming a different boy in his class)?” J teased.
At the moment I was going to make my reply, expecting a hug from him when the other boy came around the desk, arms opened wide, jogging toward me and said, “I’ll give you a hug!!!” And proceeded to envelope me in one.
I smiled and asked, “Who are you?”
Skipping a bit in his spot, he said, “Elijah! E-L-I-J-A-H!!!” And skipped away, out the room back to his home room.
This is one time I wish I could have recorded the delightful sing-song voice he used while spelling his name. His inhibition and sincerity was like a tickle-harp, plucking a laugh that came up so deep and loud that my two teacher friends started laughing with me and we couldn’t stop. Tears rolled and I even tried to muffle my laugh and gave up. I didn’t care that the three classrooms around us could hear me. I laughed whole-heatedly. It was the best medicine of all!!!
I can’t wait to see Elijah again as he will most certainly give me a hug, spell his name, and trigger delight for my teacher soul.