I met my friend Nick in the winter of 2001. He was bright, curious four year old in the first kindergarten class I worked in at Pleasant Ridge Waldorf School. After two years together he moved on to the first grade. The mystery bouquets started that following May Day. The “Guess Who” on the card was truly a mystery – it was several years later that his mom finally confessed that it was Nick. A friendship grew with not only Nick, but his parents. Suddenly they had an extra adult that was looking out for them and I had the same care extended to my family. We had made a heart connection. Nick is now a freshman in college. And while I don’t receive bouquets anymore, I do get texts.
While I can’t expect every relationship I have with the children in my care to extend into a friendship entering its second decade I do know that I have this heart connection with the children in my care. I’m one of the extra adults in their lives that cares about them and their families. I feel truly lucky to be working at LifeWays where relationship based care is valued.