the pride of a child

Date March 5, 2009

He came into the room stomping and swearing as though a swarm of bees were trapped in his shirt.

I called his name gently, but sternly in a way he could not ignore, and he sulked toward me.  I asked him to take a deep breath and then to take another.  Pieces of the anger left as he exhaled and his head hung like the leaves of a summer flower left too long without a drink. 

His head hung in shame.

We stayed that way for a while letting the silence steal the sting and then he looked at me.  A ten year old freckled face with sweaty strands of dark hair stuck to his forehead.  Two uncharacteristically light eyes. 

“Miss?” he whispered.

“Yes, sir?” I said.

“Miss, I am sorry to hurt you.”

He didn’t blink as he said it, and the puddles that sat precariously on his eyelashes told me why he didn’t. 

Even little boys are proud. 

I nodded, the burn of my own tears having robbed me of any words.

Then, the man who said he was sorry turned and ran like a child out the door.

6 Responses to “the pride of a child”

  1. Lou said:

    What was wrong with him? You left me hanging or I am just missing something.

  2. Mrs. Sharon said:

    Emily, I read your entries with enthusiasm and admiration. Since I’m not a part of the “Blog generation” I don’t leave comments…even though I’ve often thought about it. I can’t let this one pass. “The man who said he was sorry turned and ran like a child…” That is sooo powerful. And such a lesson…Don’t we all feel like skipping when the burden of guilt has been lifted??? I don’t even mind that I don’t know what he had done.

  3. sherry said:

    How fabuous that you gave him his dignity as he gifted you with apology! I always try to remember that the time spent in school may be the highlight of a child’s day…what a terrifying thought! (especially when teacher is having a stinky day of her own). Just think, only about 62 days left of school!

  4. Lou said:

    Well I feel stupid. I did miss something and it and I am ashamed that it took reading the other comments to let me know I needed to go back and read it again. Sorry to have shown my ingorance so.

  5. Lou said:

    It is Monday and I can’t type, either.

  6. Trava said: