I was reading a computing magazine at the library yesterday, waiting for my student to arrive, and learning about which classes I should take to finish my degree and still continue on with my in-process IT career.
She walks up, all five feet of her, long brown hair, dark brown eyes and smiles her shy smile.
I’m so pleased to see her. We have had difficulties getting together because of her recent pregnancy and delivery of a new baby girl.
She’s smart. She’s really smart. I learn from her as much as she learns from me.
We laugh. A lot. And that is good, especially now. I need to hear laughter and, I think, so does she.
We decided to try something new yesterday. We’d been reading the newspaper on the recent events and doing flash cards. But I thought it may be time for empowerment…for her to feel like she really is a driving force in all of this.
After the flash cards, which she showed me she had been working at as she pronounced her “j” and “y” correctly (not an easy feat when you’ve been pronouncing it one way your entire life and it now sounds different in the new language you are trying to learn!), I stopped and looked at her.
Her eyes shine. They sparkle. She’s incredibly beautiful. Especially when she smiles.
I asked her if she’d like to get a library card. Oh…if I could only express to you the way her face lit up…if only I could tell you how excited she got when she heard the words.
We went up to the counter to get the card. Some of the questions were difficult and she would look to me for assurances but she did wonderfully. I was so proud of her. I know it was a huge step.
We picked out a book together. It was a book on gardening. We started to read it together and then I asked her if she’d like to check it out. She nodded.
Our library has a system where you can check out books by yourself on the computer. As we slid the card under the scanner, her name popped up. I pointed it out to her and she smiled widely. We slid the book under the scanner and the printout of her due date came out. I explained to her how it worked.
“That’s it?” she asked.
I nodded. “It’s that easy,” I told her. I went on to explain that if she didn’t enjoy that book, we’d pick out another. I also told her that she could bring her girls in and check out books for them.
That is why she wants to learn to speak and read better. So she can help her girls, so she can read to them (3 girls under the age of 4), and so she can help her oldest with her schooling.
Her smile grew wider.
My heart welled with what I can only describe as love.