Friday, November 7, 2008

Miss Katie

Miss Katie is Tyler's teacher this year. She also happens to have been my sister's teacher when she was a toddler as well. Miss Katie is this DOLL of a woman. The first time you meet her, you think, how do kids possibly respond to this woman. She is from China, she moved here about 30 years ago, and still she has this THICK, THICK Chinese accent. I find it a real challenge to understand her, so it blows my mind that two and three year olds can understand her. But kids are brilliant, so it shouldn't really be a surprise to me. She is strict, harsh, organized, etc. Everyone said, "Give her a chance, your kids will not be able to say "r" when they leave, but they adjust, and she is worth every minute that they will be able to spend with her!" So, I left Tyler alone with her, and I haven't been worried for a second.
Her husband became gravely ill during the second week of school, about September. He was hospitalized, Miss Katie was gone a lot, and it was a real challenge for the school to maintain the numbers needed to have appropriate coverage. When I would drop Tyler off in the mornings, she would be sobbing, then 30 other kids would start crying since the two classes were combined. Anyway, it was a VERY DIFFICULT transition for Tyler, with no fault to Miss Katie, I just thought that the school could have handled it in a much better manner. Anyway, one day, out of the blue, I get a phone call, and it is Miss Katie, just checking to see how Tyler is doing without her there. Miss Katie was calling us from the bedside of her dying husband to worry about my child, and from that moment on, she has stolen my heart! She didn't call everyone, but she knew that Tyler was new, and she just wanted to check on her, told me to tell her that Miss Katie called, and to give her a hug for Miss Katie.
Unfortunately, Miss Katie's husband died about two weeks ago, so she has been gone, but this morning when I took Tyler to school, Miss Katie was back, she was in the bathroom, but she was talking, and if you could have seen Tyler's face the moment she heard Miss Katie's voice, you too would have fallen in love. She looked like a little puppy, her ears perked up, her eyes started skipping around the room to try and located where she was. It was precious. She ran up to her, gave her a hug, showed her the monkey shirt she was wearing, and it was as if all was right in the world again.
Some of the other moms and I went to the funeral for Miss Katie's husband last week, and she thanked me this morning for going. She told me that she was nervous because her husband didn't have a lot of friends, and the chapel was so big, and how it would be so uncomfortable if it would have been empty, but it was packed! I just looked at her, smiled and said, "Miss Katie, YOU have a lot of friends!" I am so blessed to have squeaked into Miss Katie's class, and she will never know the impact she has had on the lives of SO MANY families!


K to the M said...

Tear! What a nice, heart-warming story! Thank you for sharing :)

Cynthia said...

Very nice story. How lucky you all are to have a Miss Katie in your lives. the love she feels from her students and their families undoubtedly is helping her through this sad time in her life.

Anonymous said...

Such a lovely lady. I really need to meet her some day!