original photo credit: Flickr
I love holiday time. Starting from about a week before Halloween all the way up until school starts again in January, I can’t seem to get enough. I love thinking about getting together with my family. I treasure seeing my children excited about decorations, yummy cookies they want to help me make and gifts they want to buy and receive. I love to wander the aisles at stores and pick out that oh-so-perfect gift for my mom. I send texts back and forth with my sisters like mad. I giggle when my husband and I have to whisper about gifts for the kids when we both see something we know they would love. I could listen all day to my kids practice their Christmas songs on the piano and sing along with the music. All of what the season brings, all of the anticipation, fills me with joy.
My favorite part of each day is at the very end when I walk with three students to their special spot to wait for their bus. They are three adorable boys, coming from less than adorable circumstances, but are some of the sweetest kids I’ve ever met. We take our time walking so that we can play “Questions” (very original name, I know) where each person gets to ask one question to someone in our group. Usually the questions are funny like, “Who do you think would win in a fight, Darth Vader or Captain America?” Or, “Would you eat a pizza with worms on it for $500?” Today, boy #1 posed his question to me.
“Mrs. C, what’s your house like?”
Before I could even answer, I heard boy #2 say:
“I bet it’s nice and warm.”
From boy #3 I heard:
“Yeah, and I bet it has lots of food in the cupboards.”
And then I heard this:
“I bet it has big comfy beds and everyone is happy.”
I knew taking this job would change my perspective on children, but I had no idea that it would hurt my heart. I will never forget our “Questions” game today. Three boys with a very different perspective at this time of year. Warmth, food, a comfortable place to sleep and happiness is really all you need, isn’t it? And if it’s that simple for them then it should be for me too. It should be for all of us.
This year, I’ll be seeing Christmas a little differently. And now that I know what I’m looking for, I think I’ll appreciate it even more.
Kim Cunningham was born and raised in the Midwest. In college she majored in Communications (with a minor in partying). It was there that she met her husband, a super cool guy that wore a uniform every Thursday to class. 20 years, eight houses, two kids, one dog and eight deployments later Kim is a happy wife, mom and special education teacher. She currently resides in Northern Virginia with the same super cool guy (who still wears a uniform) and two awesome kids. Her hobbies include reading, writing and taking as many Disney cruises as possible.