Dear Nervously Happy Year 3 Student,
You wrote a letter to me awhile ago, and before I say anything more, I want to let you know that my silence has not been because of a lack of something to say on my part. Far from it! You would be surprised how many times I’ve sat down to my laptop to type but decided against it. Over the past two months I’ve chosen to communicate through action– and believe me, you were so busy with all my tasks that actions were the most effective way to communicate how I feel about you.
Do you remember that one afternoon when you were in the classroom when it was pouring with rain? You were trying to teach seven year olds to draw Wild Things– or the parts of a Wild Thing, excuse me– on top of a din of thunder and wet. It was really quite amusing to watch you, dear– their own wild eyes as you sketched claws on paws. “You’re not going to get anything done today,” your associate teacher laughed, encouraging you to claim that teachable moment. So not long after, all 25 students huddled up on the decking as the rain surged down a few feet away. You laughed, too. And I think, in that moment, you were starting to realize that “Excellent” was the way I was describing you.
You mentioned in your last letter that my friends told you I was difficult to live with, that we should get to know each other in small steps. What do you think of that now? You’ve known me two and a half months now, or, a full term. What do feel about that? Have you proved them wrong? Or do you realize their wisdom– and forsake it anyway? I’m really curious. Because watching your own child-like excitement at rain gives me the idea that you really like hanging out with me, and aren’t worried so much about pace. It also makes me suspect that you believed my auntie when she said that this year would be full of fun. (I like when you believe awesome stuff about me, it makes life a lot easier). So, are you having fun? I know I am. Thunder that one afternoon was scientific evidence.
Nervously Happy, oh come on! Is it really a shock to you to hear that I “kinda like you, too”? Is it a surprise that words like “Excellent” and “magnificent” are what I have described you as in the short time we’ve known each other? It shouldn’t be. But I understand you’re not used to being so easily complimented, so it takes awhile to sink in. I also know you were super fearful before we met. I know you shuddered at the thought of 25 children in one room– and you their leader. Yet– you know what? I’m so proud of you. I call you Excellent for a reason. I don’t slap on a label for the fun of it, and I never push a girl to move countries just so I can play with her heart.
Well… maybe I do. Because “playful” is a word that you’ve been learning describes me, too. Among all the audio transcribing, lesson planning, and article writing… I’m getting a feeling that you’ve been starting find my FUN side. Though don’t call it a “side” because it gives the feeling that I could turn and I wouldn’t be fun anymore. No– I’m always playful! Belting out Let it Go from “Frozen”… scampering around a field at a marae fending off 20 little boys from a soccer ball… sitting placidly in the library after a fantail FINALLY escaped after an hour of not flying low enough! Oh dear, now it’s starting seem like I’m complimenting myself! Well, maybe I am. Listen, Nervously Happy, I play with your heart in the best possible way. I really do slap labels like “magnificent” on you for the fun of it. Why? Why do I do all of this? Am I really that heartless– that I do it for my own amusement?
Not at all. I do this all because… well, seeing you smile is enough to make me nervously happy.
“I will put my law within them,
and I will write it on their hearts…”