Sometimes parents just aren't enough.
We love our kids so immensely, but we can't always give exactly what our kids need. That's hard to admit, but it's true, and I find this especially true with Julie---my strong-willed, unpredictable little girl, who is still somewhat of an enigma to me. She is loving and caring and angry and overjoyed and sad--all at once.
This upcoming move to Georgia has been especially hard on her. She has found her place here in Chicago and she doesn't want to leave. "I wish June would just go on forever," Julie told me. We leave in July.
Just when life seems impossibly glib for a little girl, a speck of hope arrives. It was in the form of a letter from her favorite teacher, Mrs. Johnson.
I can't begin to describe this woman because I have never before met anyone quite like her. The day before first grade, Mrs. Johnson called to talk to Julie--a little pep talk of sorts. I knew this teacher would be someone special. And she was. She cared enough to get to know Julie and her strengths and weaknesses and she built her up like no one has before. Julie shined that year in first grade.
I have no doubt Mrs. Johnson cares deeply for all of her students, but we seemed to make a special connection with this special teacher. When she found out we were moving, Mrs. Johnson called to talk to Julie one night, and the next day, she sent Julie home with a little book about penguins (Julie's favorite animal), and a card saying how Julie was special. We gave Mrs. Johnson a bracelet as a parting gift.
The most recent letter arrived yesterday---three days before our move. In the letter, Mrs. Johnson described her summer trip to Israel, but the following paragraph brought tears to my eyes:
I hope you are having a wonderful summer. I adore the beautiful bracelet you gave to me. It will be a treasure for the rest of my life. You will always have a special place in my heart. I know we will keep in touch with each other forever. I believe God has a special plan for you, Julie. I am honored that I was picked to be a little part of it. Remember to SHINE and BE THE DIFFERENCE wherever you go in life. I look forward to hearing about it.