30 Mar Slice of Life: The Power of a Book #SOL18
Why would a mom leave?
He puts his pencil down and rests his hand over his notes.
Is that the question you are tracking?
I notice the scratched out writing and ripped page of his notebook. I try again.
Is that what you were wondering as you read this book?
He waits and then slowly closes his notebook.
No. That is what I am wondering in life. Why would a mom leave? How can a mom just leave?
A tear slips down his cheek. He lets it roll off his face and onto his hand. I realize we are not talking about the character in his book. I realize I do not have an answer to his question. We sit in silence. The tears continue.
You’re a mom.
You don’t know why a mom would leave.
He averts his eyes. The silence connects us somehow.
Barely audible he asks, Would you leave?
I allow myself to feel his question, the enormity of it, the pain behind, and the need for an answer. I divert the energy I was expending to resist tears to find words, any words to respond. The question rolls around in my head. Why would a mom leave? Why would a mom leave? I realize, at this moment, I too want to leave. I realize this moment may be too big for me. I realize I could turn his question back to him and tell him it is a great question to think about. I realize I could connect this back to the book and shift to teacher mode. My head is spinning with options. My heart is pounding. His gaze is unwavering. I realize he deserves more.
I don’t know why. I do know how much a mother loves her child. I know how much it would hurt to leave someone you love that much. So, I imagine the love for a mother’s child must be the reason she leaves. She must love him so much that she knows it is what is right even though the pain is unbearable.
He doesn’t respond. He wipes his face with his sleeve. He puts his notebook and pencil into his reading bag. He pushes his chair back and gets up to join the others on the rug. As he steps away he turns back to look at me. My breath holds preparing for his response.
Hey, do you have any more books like this? I want to read more books like this.
I realize the power of a book.
Thank you to Stacey, Betsy, Beth, Kathleen, Deb, Melanie, and Lanny for creating this community and providing this space for teachers and others to share their stories every day in March and on Tuesdays throughout the year.