>Once upon a time there was this little boy. A sweet, funny, brilliant child who loved dinosaurs and chess. Mind you, he was very young, this child, when I knew him. Before we became friends, he didn’t have many. Friends, that is. In fact, he didn’t have any. You see, he liked his space in a very intense way. Touch bothered him. Accidental bumping threw him into fits. Hugs were out of the question. Then, he came to me. And he made a little friend who was gentle and kind. The sweet little boy would watch his new friend, absorb the way he interacted, laughed, played, and hugged his teacher. Slowly, the sweet little boy came out of his protective shell. He laughed. He played. Accidental bumping no longer bothered him. It didn’t bother his friend, so it must be okay. The sweet little boy gained confidence and began interacting with other little ones. He even learned to accept their attention. Being noticed didn’t bother him anymore. He learned to speak up for himself. He learned that going to time out was normal.
But the sweet little boy told himself a lie. He told himself that if he did things wrong, or if he had an accident, or even if he went to time out, his teacher would be sad. His teacher, upon learning of this terrible lie, went to the sweet little boy. Kneeling down, she whispered to him that she would love him if he built really cool towers. She would love him if he walked in a line. She would love him if he was nice to his friends. She would love him if he fell down. She would love him if he went to time out. She would love him if he pee peed in his pants. She would love him if he forgot to put poop in the potty. She whispered to him that, no matter what, she would love him. For always. And she promised.
The sweet little boy, with very bright eyes, looked at her with such solemn wonder and joy. He so very carefully put his little arms around her and told her that he loved her. And then he looked at her again, with a very serious expression…and his teacher knew that the sweet little boy had processed what she had said and that now, he understood and accepted that love with great gravity.
On that dark and horrid day, the sweet little boy had given his weary teacher a sparklie she would cherish forever.