Monday morning we were late for school. As usual. We are late almost every day, but thanks to Daylight Savings Time, we were well beyond our usual brand of late.
I walked Sean into his classroom and his classmates were already sitting on the floor working on some group activity.
Marlee, a tiny piquant blonde, looked up and noticed Sean standing there. Marlee is known for her exuberance, her boundless energy, her unabashed joi de vie.
She leapt to her feet, hurdled several of her classmates OJ style and then wrapped Sean up in a big bear hug, lifting him completely off the ground. Clearly, she was happy to see him. Oh that we might all be more like Marlee – transparent and unapologetic with our affection.
Sean did not return her embrace. He did his best impression of a totem pole, keeping his arms stiffly down by his sides, neither moving his head or his eyes to the right or to the left. When she set him down he kind of pulled at his collar uncomfortably and stuck out his chin as if he were wearing a necktie that was too tight.
Sean’s reserve did not deter Marlee. She grabbed him by the hand and pulled him into the hive of activity.
I turned to hang up his coat and his backpack and when I turned back to say goodbye, he was already engaged with his peers. He felt welcomed and wanted here and had no need of his mother now. He did not notice when I disappeared around the corner.
Thanks Marlee. You make the world a better place. Don’t ever change.