the color yellow

It is like the color yellow, I suppose, how memorable moments arrive. Even if you don't like the color yellow, sometimes things are just so bright - like an entrance or an announcement. Yes, the color yellow is like an announcement.

The day Sam came for a special visit was my first yellow day. It was the day that Sam was to leave our school and he brought me flowers.

There I was, eating lunch with the other teachers in the break room. Noise and laughter were at the table yet I could hear some voices down the hallway. My four-year-old friend Sam and his father were whispering as they neared the door: "Yes, Sam, it's o.k. ... let's see if she is in here..."

Footsteps. I can still hear them. Sam and his father approach the open break room door. As I turned my chair to look toward the door, they were already there. Sam is standing still, bowl haircut just above his eyes, bouquet of colorful flowers in his hand. "These are for you," says Sam. His father tells me it was Sam's idea, that he needed to bring me flowers. Sam had told his dad that is what people do when they love people.

The color yellow, bright and memorable.
Being a teacher is like that: It is like being handed the color yellow.

She is upside-down on the pyramid climber. Her tangled hair and glasses are all intertwined. Today is skirt with pants, long shirt with colored sweater, missing buttons, high socks and orange shoes.

Four-year-old Kat is upside-down when she sees me coming into the play yard. Her smile is bright and I begin my funny greeting to her. We like to make rhymes together and invent silly words. I begin a funny trail of ideas and I watch Kat become right-side-up, sitting atop the pyramid. I believe my wit is quite fantastic, perhaps my best ever, yet Kat is looking straight at me, focused with a slight grin.

All of a sudden, she interrupts me: 
"I have a gift for you. I brought you flowers today."

Yellow. Oh yes, the color yellow.

The two stories of Yellow are not about getting flowers. The two stories represent something deeper than that for me in the moments in which they occurred. Both events stopped me in my tracks, made me think different about these children, and made me realize that the relationships we build with children are true relationships with real attachments for children AND teachers. The flowers themselves don't matter. The idea of the flowers is the treasure.

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