Today, while reviewing the English alphabet with Class 3, something insignificant, yet equally extraordinary occurred. For each letter, I asked the students for examples of English words which began with that letter, so by the time we reached the letter “M,” my pattern was quite clear. When I turned to the class for examples, only one child’s hand was raised, it was the hand of one of the girls who lost her mother last week. Without hesitation or sadness she responded, “Mother.” By the instant the last syllable left her mouth, the 9 other hands were raised and eager to respond with “machine,” “mango,” “man,” etc., but for a moment the only response was “Mother” from a child who will learn to live without one. I noted its significance to myself, but intentionally moved on as quickly as it seemed she and her classmates had.
I have yet to reflect fully enough on this moment to draw out all of its significance or explain it in words, but there was something so startling about her frankness that I felt I must document and share it.