By Joan Clayton
“Los ninos son como los pajaritos … tu ensenas volar … cuando ellos aprenden, estan listos y vuelan!”
A mother of one of my students spoke these inspiring words in Spanish to me on Parent Conference Day. We were discussing the end of school and how quickly the year had passed.
“The children are like little birds. You teach them to fly … when they learn, they are ready and then they fly!”
What a profound statement. Every year I had a lump in my throat at the end of school, but this thought brought tears.
Children are the promise of the future.
“Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward” (Psalm 127:3).
The time to love, nurture and train children is short. “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will old depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).
This proverb is just as true now as in Bible times. The love and discipline of a godly home can never be replaced.
The spiritual leadership of a godly husband and mother who have respect for each family member builds a strong foundation for the children. Children grow in this environment.
As “calves of the stall” (Malachi 4:2). “The children will grow strong and rise up and call their mother blessed…”
Children taught me how to be happy. They taught me to “seize the moment,” to live life with gusto and to make each day count. They are free to express their feelings. Working with children became one of the many highlights of my life. They gave me a priceless gift, “how to have the heart of a child.”
A few months after my retirement I received a telephone call. “Mrs. Clayton, this is Robert.”
“Hi Robert!” I exclaimed. “How are you?”
“Mrs. Clayton,” he continued.
“How is school?”
“Fine … uh … Mrs. Clayton … ” There was a pause and so I made conversation.
“You’ll be going to a new school this fall, won’t you?”
“Yes, but … Mrs. Clayton … ” and he hesitated again.
“Well, I’m just so proud of you Robert, and you are such a wonderful little artist.”
“Thank you Mrs. Clayton … I just called to say I love you.”
Then I lost it. This adorable 7-year-old child still remembered me.
Last week, now 17, the same young man called. Guess what? he said. “I love you, Mrs. Clayton, and I will never forget you.”
The tears began to flow as I thanked God again for the bond between teacher and student. They have a part of the teacher’s heart that lasts forever.
“When they learn, then they are ready and they fly away.”