When Daniel was angry he would forget to
use his indoor voice
and he would demonstrate
marvelous balance while kicking. 'I no kick him, he take my truck, so I make "HIYA!"'
, he'd show me, hair falling into his dark eyes
flashing and little sneaker snaking out in perfect sequence, one-two-three times.
If Daniel was 20 instead of two, I would have
been in love with him. Instead he was my
favorite, and I was the teacher assigned to calm
him down on his worse days. There was nothing wrong
with Daniel, besides for him being a guy through
and through, and one of Miss C.'s least favorite
students. Daniel was the quintessential boy;
exactly like the son I hope to have some day. Tough,
caring, rambunctious and smart. Like a fox.
And as honest as they came, too.
The big tough guy with the soft heart in our class
of two-year olds was Daniel, rugged in jeans and
The last month of school, Daniel was reacting to offenses more roughly than usual, and at the same time becoming more dependant, asking for hugs when he used to dust off his hands and bound away. His sister
was in the hospital and his mother wasn't home very much. There was nothing he wanted other than to be heard,
so we listened. Then his sister passed away and we
needed to make a condolence call, a week after school
In a quiet house filled with hushed mourners, we sat
near his mother and I almost died, at a total loss
for words. Bless Daniel for saving us both. He pounded
over to me and yanked on my hand. 'Come, Miss
Jane', tugging me into the bedroom. In middle of all
the grief, the room was still just a children's bedroom,
messy and strewn with toys, clothes. 'This my bed,
and this Talia's bed and here the books, read
me a book.'
And there was no way to tell him
that Talia wasn't coming home. There was nothing to do
except give him the love and attention he deserved,
so I read to him.