“That guy’s DEAD!” Laylee blurted as Beethoven’s 5th symphony came on our car stereo.
“Who?” I asked.
“The guy who made that song. My music teacher said he’s dead and this song has themes.”
She proceeded to tell me that she “loves that guy.” She loves him because his music is beautiful. She loves him because he wrote a song for a woman he loved but never married. She loves him because he must’ve started composing music when he was really young to get all those songs written before he was dead. She loves him because he has hearing loss just like her.
There’s something amazing about sending her off each day and then having her come home with her little brain overflowing with knowledge. I have never seen a kid who loves school the way Laylee loves it. She loves everything about it. She can’t get enough.
It’s a little disconcerting at times to know she’s being taught things by people who aren’t me but it’s also exciting because she comes home and shares what she learns.
I decided today that helping out in the classroom is one of the top 8 best things of ever. I got to see what they do all day, things that Laylee explaaaained… sort of… in a language resembling English. Now it all makes sense. And I got to spy on Laylee. I’ll tell you what she does all day. She stares at Ms. Sweetsie with a look of absolute adoration and intense concentration and tries to follow her instructions with exactness. She bubbles over with joy. She is loved.
And she’s not the only one who does those things. Ms. Sweetsie has the entire class eating out of her hands. I have never seen such a well-behaved group of 5-year-olds in my life. And they’re not scared of her. They just want to please her SO MUCH. I’m sort of hoping that when she retires she’ll set up a Super-Nanny-style empire of parenting improvement courses. She could come live in our computer room and I would be her padowan.
I’m pleased to say though that as much as Laylee lerves Mrs. S, she’s even crazier about me. She bounced out of the classroom today holding my hand and squeezing it. “I’m so lucky to have you for my mom. You’re the best mom in the world. I’m so lucky that my mom comes to school and I get to have you all day at home and all day at school. This is the BEST!” When Dan asked who her special visitor was in class today, referring to the firemen who came to teach a safety lesson, she said, “MOM! She’s a room mom and it’s awesome and she got to spend the WHOLE DAY WITH ME!”
My heart could detonate.
In the classroom I observed that the other kids are not a group of miscreant crack heads, which is a great comfort unto me. For the first time in Laylee’s life she’s making friends independently of me. No longer do I drive her somewhere, plop her diaper bum down in front of another drooling toddler and say, “Behold. Your new friend.”
When she came home a couple of weeks into the school year twittering on about her new friends, I was skeptically pleased for her. “Hmmm…. Who is this Janie character? Really? Does she have any egregious offenses on her rap sheet?