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Rated: E · Short Story · Emotional · #1466606
All it takes is one smile to make all the difference.
The lump in my throat seemed to grow with each step as we approached the brick building. My daughter, Amber, looked so small; even the sidewalk seemed too big. Her entire life had been hurtling toward this milestone but now that it was here, I wasn’t ready.

I pulled the door open and reminded myself to breathe, as a cold blast of air conditioning swept past us. Her fingers wriggled as she tried to yank her arm free. “Let go, Mommy.” She gave me a confident smile. “I can walk by myself.”

I hesitated before releasing her hand. “Stay close, munchkin, okay?”

She nodded and even the bobbing of her curly-haired head seemed so much older than a five-year-old. Together, we walked down the hall, moving past groups of parents and children to find the room we needed at the end. Inside, tiny chairs surrounded miniature tables, animals decorated the walls, and a large desk sat at the back of the classroom.

A slender, black-haired woman rose and came around from behind the desk. Her hair framed her face in a pixie cut, making her look barely old enough to be teaching kindergarten. A large smile brightened her face as she moved toward us.

I remembered, in that moment, how old many of my teachers had been when I was in school.. It had been far too long since I’d been in a classroom; a whole new generation was beginning to teach.

“Hi, I’m Mrs. Carlisle.” She knelt in front of my daughter. “What’s your name?”

Amber’s hand reaching out blindly for mine as she took a step backward. Tears prickled in my eyes. My voice was soft and strained from holding back tears. “This is Amber.”

“It’s wonderful to meet you, Amber. I’m going to show your mom around the classroom, do you want to come with us?”

Amber nodded her head, not letting go of my hand. Mrs. Carlisle straightened and winked at me. I couldn’t help smiling as she led us first to an arts and crafts area set up for finger painting then onto a section set up like a kitchen.

“Here’s our creative area where students are allowed to play games with one another." The teacher looked down at Amber. "This is a good place to play and make new friends, Amber.”

Together we walked around the classroom, exploring the story time area, the nap area, and discussing when each activity took place throughout the day. We arrived back at the front of the room just as another parent walked into the room leading a little boy by the hand. His brown eyes were wide, and he started to cry as they walked toward us. Amber moved around me to watch as they came nearer.

“No, Mommy, I wanna go home!” He stomped his feet as they stood before the teacher. The mother’s face was pale and strained, but she tried to smile. Mrs. Carlisle knelt before the little boy, her face bright and cheerful with a big smile. She didn’t even have a chance to speak before he squealed and hid behind his mother’s legs.

Mrs. Carlisle stood and chuckled. “It’s okay to be nervous the first day.” They too walked around the room exploring the different areas until they came to a stop once more at the front of the classroom. By that point, the little boy was no longer crying, but had resorted to sucking his thumb. He stared at Amber.

“Mommy, can I say hi?”

I looked down at her. “Sure, sweetie.”

Letting go of my hand, she took a few tentative steps before stopping to glance back at me. I smiled at her and nodded. She crossed the short distance to the little boy who simply watched her approach.

Her voice floated across the room to me, small in such a big space but huge with friendliness. “Hi. I’m Amber. What’s your name?” A smile lit her face as she waved at him. I watched, speechless, as the little boy’s thumb came out of his mouth.

“Nathan," the boy mumbled. The mother turned and stared at Amber then at me, relief evident on her face.

“It’s okay to be scared.” Amber reached out her hand for Nathan’s.

My heart felt like it would burst with pride, as hand in hand, they went over to the toys and began to stack blocks together.

8/27/08 Revision: 768 words
8/26/08 Revision:767 words
8/25/08 Revision: 768 words
6/02/09 Revision: 761 words
June 2009 entry in
Parenting Short Story Contest  (ASR)
Parenting is the funnest job ever! Or not? You tell me!
#1558020 by Annette

August 2008 entry in
Quotation Inspiration: Official Contest  (ASR)
Use the quote provided to write a story and win big prizes!
#1207944 by Writing.Com Support

We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do.
~Mother Teresa
© Copyright 2008 Charity Marie > πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡¦ (cmstarrett at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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