Last night, I wrote a blog about the imminent end of term and Hannah’s last day at her school of the past 3 years. Today, the actual last day, things were much as expected, and I have no wish to recount the goodbyes, the tears, the sadness. But one thing I did reflect on and do want to recount, are the words I heard repeatedly today, from the blog readers, from friends and family, and mostly from Hannah’s wonderful, tearful teachers:
“they (the new school) will love Hannah just as much as we do, of course they will, how can anyone not love Hannah.”
It’s a beautiful, genuine response. It makes me incredibly proud and happy to know that my little girl makes people fall in love with her and, even more beautifully, makes it impossible for them to imagine others not falling in love with her too.
But I want to say this to Hannah’s teachers, old and new. You (the old) have fallen in love with her cheeky smile, her mischievous giggle, her dirty laugh, her dancing eyes, her life-filled personality. You have been able to fall in love with this because she has shown it to you, and she has shown it to you because you have made her feel happy and safe and able to shine. You have heard her giggle because you have made her laugh. You have seen her mischief because you have delighted in it. You have been given her smile because you have given her yours right back. She has given herself to you because you have let her, and because you have celebrated her.
But Hannah does not smile and giggle and sparkle all the time. I should know, I’m her mum, she saves the worst bits for me! The truth is that she doesn’t give everyone she meets those best bits. Not everyone earns them. So not everyone falls in love with her. It’s a simple equation really: if you want to see the smile and hear the giggle that will make you fall in love with her, you have to make her happy.
So please, new teachers, make her happy. Enjoy her naughty laugh, celebrate her mischievous giggle, acknowledge her sly sideways glance, give her the cheeky smile right back, let her make you fall in love. Let her be Hannah, and love her for it. Please.