My classes on Monday October 1 included new students as well as girls I had known for years. A wonderful perk of teaching dance is that you have the privilege of being a part of a child’s life for years. Many of the girls had started dancing at four years old—and now some of them were seniors in high school. So to say I knew these girls and they knew me would be an understatement.
I invited everyone to sit on the floor and asked them the same questions I asked every first class of the season: “How was your summer? Did you do anything special?”
After they had filled me in on their summers, I filled them in on mine.
“I had a great summer,” I said, “but my September wasn’t so good.” I smiled weakly. “But what has happened doesn’t change who I am to you, or who you are to me.”
I paused and intentionally looked each of them in the eye. “I am okay. We are going to be okay.” And then I added, “So, everybody up! Let’s get busy.”
Emily and Meghan were students in those classes. They chose not to attend that first day, and I was grateful. As Miss Ann, I could articulate those thoughts but to express them as Mom would have been too hard.
As I’d often told Emily and Meghan, lots of kids might call me Miss Ann, but only two kids in the whole world call me Mom.
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