Paper, Staples, and Speaking My Truth
March 1, 2019
I woke up to a coating of snow - just enough for a delay today. Two extra hours gave me more precious minutes to sip my English Breakfast tea and wrap a big old black brace around my painful swollen knee. Yesterday's reps up and down off a school chair with a stapler in one hand, paper in another, and a staple puller gripped in between my teeth proved to be too much for me.
I was at school putting the last touches of my Green Eggs and Ham bulletin board for Read Across America Week. But if I'm honest, my knee wasn't just my knee that bothered me. It was also a comment a teacher made as she passed by while I was working on the board - the board other teachers and students remarked over and over about how incredible and fun they thought it was. But this teacher only had one comment. "Show off," she said as stopped to inspect my work. It stung for a moment, but I was so wrapped up in how much fun I was having and how much joy I knew it would bring to kids, that I didn't do what I have a tendency to do. That is, to get silent and feel all defeated deep down inside.
As a matter of fact, I didn't skip a beat and responded with, "No. What's really going on here is that I'm putting my whole heart into what I love.” She had no way of knowing that when little kids, like firecrackers, explode their excitement as they pass by the huge green ham and eggs on a platter suspended in air by a mechanical arm with a red glove, I get fueled with their joy. She also had no way of knowing how often I've chosen to not do something that will stand out because others may disapprove or criticize.
The same teacher who let a careless word fly yesterday came to me today with an apology. She felt badly about what she had said and went on to tell me more about what's going on in her life. What happened after that was a short but really great conversation. I guess you could say it was a meeting of the hearts in which we both walked away empowered.
My knee still hurts, but my heart is fine.