Children wise beyond their years

By Joan Clayton : Religion Columnist

She had moved back to our school in the spring after an absence of several months. “I’m so glad to be back in your class again,” she said, throwing her arms around me.

I soon discovered she had missed many important concepts, especially in math. I took time during recesses to help her through the regrouping process.

I felt amazed when she asked if she could have some practice papers to take home.

She brought them back the next day all perfectly done. When I expressed surprise that she had mastered such difficult concepts so quickly, she replied: “I try to do the best I can, so I study and work hard.”

What an astonishing concept for one so young. This 7-year-old child had expressed a philosophy of life that would be a good one for people of any age.

Things were difficult in her young life, however, she accepted what life handed her, and made the most of it.

I had previously told the children when to bring their eggs and a basket for our egg hunt. She brought her Easter eggs in a paper sack. I kept little extras for such an occasion and I gave her an Easter basket. She hugged me, thanking me all the while.

She tried to give the basket back to me after the hunt, but I told her to keep it. Her words again said “Thank you,” but her eyes spoke of gratitude that went far beyond her words; eyes filled with such admiration that I choked back the tears.

In my mind each night, I looked over my classroom and prayed silently for each one of my students. I prayed God’s protection around them, to shield them from hurts in their young lives.

I also prayed to be like my student, that I too would study and work hard. Since I am in the “Master’s Classroom” and I’m so glad his spirit stays with me in the “recesses” of my life, to help me and tutor me in the things I need to learn.

Every spring reminds me of my little student and her outlook upon life. I wonder where she is now. Yet I know she will make it. Her attitude will see her through life successfully.

I want that same attitude, “I try to do the best I can, so I study and work hard.”