Once a week I volunteer in a second-grade classroom at our neighborhood school. All of the kids are special, and each of them delight me on different days for different reasons. Yesterday, one little girl saw me signing in at the office, and gently rapped her knuckle on the glass window to get my attention. When I looked up, saw her, and smiled at her, her eyes got big and round, she sheepishly smiled, and then she quickly ducked her head and walked away.
That’s what this little girl does. When I call on her in class, I get the same response: her eyes get big and round, she sheepishly smiles, she quietly provides the answer to the question she was called on for (she nearly always right, by the way), and then she quickly ducks her head and looks down.
She delights in the attention I give her; she’s just very shy, and a bit insecure, and slightly awkward. But she’s also smart, and kind, and gentle; and I hope that one day she will come into her own.
Anyway, that was all yesterday. Today, I was getting groceries; and as I turned my cart around the corner to enter the next aisle, I saw that same little girl, walking a few feet behind her mom, munching on a cookie – and those same big round eyes were watching, observing, just taking everything in like they usually do. After a second, the little girl saw me – and her eyes increased even more. I could tell she experienced a half-second where she was confused, seeing me out of the context of school; but then her mind quickly placed me, and she sheepishly smiled a *big* grin at me – then almost instantly ducked her head, and continued walking behind her mom.
I smiled to myself as I watched the little girl turn the next aisle, and walk out of sight.
There’s something about this little girl’s heart that touches mine; something I can’t really put into words, but something that I clearly feel when I see her.
I love those big round eyes, and the soft little voice, and that wonderful sheepish smile. And the beautiful spirit that fuels them all.