Remembering Miss Kathleen


My teenager is away this weekend, visiting a friend over the holiday weekend. In her absence, the rest of the family worked to clean up a room that we call the play room. It doubles as our guest room, and in a few weeks we’ll be having visitors in for a graduation weekend. We may need a couple of weekends to get the room looking guest-worthy.

One of the things I need to do during this process is remount an dry erase board that once hung on the wall. And it’s not just any old board, either. It holds a very special meaning to me and my family. It was once used by Miss Kathleen, who was my older daughter’s alter ego. It seems like a month ago, but it’s really been a number of years since Miss Kathleen plied her trade in our guest room.

Miss Kathleen was the firm and persistent teacher who taught my younger daughter how to read. She ignited a passion, and instilled a love of the printed word that will hopefully never be extinguished. She was my little one’s most important teacher, and one that I will always be grateful to.

Time moved on, as it always does, and Miss Kathleen went on a never-ending sabbatical several years ago. I once tried to press her into duty again, but the willingness wasn’t there, on either side of the instructional divide. This made me sad, of course, because there’s always a hope that the past can be relived again, if only for a brief moment. But Miss Kathleen, and her eager pupil in our play room, will live on in my heart. And now that I’ve told her story online, she’ll outlive me, as well.

I’m grateful that Miss Kathleen once came to pay us a visit, and I hope that all children get to know–or even to become–someone like her in the course of their youth. They’ll be better people for it.

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