9 years ago, I was an assistant teacher. There was a new child starting. The sweetest little girl. She was Turkish and spoke no English. You could tell this little 3 year old was afraid and felt alone. She would sit there with this sad face and she always looked miserable. I made it a mission to put a smile on her face.
After a few months, she started to open up and at quiet times, I helped her speak English. She had this incredible head of hair she always wanted me to fix for her. She held my hand, always looked for me and I just felt bonded with her.
She eventually had to move up. I checked on her when I could and she was growing into such a wonderful little lady. I moved up to head teacher and had her brother, so I'd see her a little more then it was time for her to graduate and move on. It happens. Every August we say a heartfelt/heartbreaking good bye to the kids we've cared for for the last 4 years and get ready for a new batch.
Fast forward to today. I'm sitting in my room working on lesson plans for September and my boss opens the door and calls me. I stand up to come towards her but standing next to her was my little friend. I got all teary eyed and even though she's as tall as I am now, I recognized her in an instant and grabbed her in a hug.
I had to hug her 3 times, I couldn't believe how grown up she was. I asked her mom where her son, K was and she looked at my boss and said "I can't believe she remembers my sons name".
Every child that I've ever cared for has a special spot in my heart. Some I still keep in touch with, some I don't but I'll never forget one.
I love my job.