My life is incredibly different than it was back in 2015 when I finally came to the conclusion that I was done being a teacher. For 8 years, just a half an hour away from my home, I taught a few generations of children. Now, I am writing full time. I have two books, He Was A Boy Who Smiled Book One and Two, for which I’m still promoting and pushing and hoping that it will pick up and take off one day. It’s a great story that I’m proud of and that says heaps because I don’t normally compliment myself but these books are my story. So there we go. Points for me. I’ve complimented myself.
One of my students contacted me wanting to buy a signed copy of my book. First edition. They were super excited and I had offered to meet up locally to save on postage and hand-deliver it myself. She was a young adult now. A student I had taught in year 3.
First of all, I felt so old.
But second of all, she asked if it was okay if she could hug me. She fought back tears and told me how much of an impact I had on her life being her teacher. Her older brother came along too and he was someone I taught as well. He, too, shared in the fond memories as I passed over the books to her. I almost felt guilty having a past student of mine pay for my books, but she was so eager to do so. She hugged them closely to her heart as we spoke. I listened uncomfortably to all of their compliments.
I really need to learn to accept them.
I mentioned to them both that this book was about all of us. We didn’t really fit in. We were unique individuals with our own traumatic stories. So I pointed that out to them and I said what’s great about your family is that through all the tough times you went through, the bullying at school, family issues, etc., they were a family that kept smiling.
There are so many of us out there like that, aye? We just keep smiling because that’s all we can do. We bring joy to others and we help make the world the best that it can be. That’s all we can do.
She’s out there somewhere reading my books. I’ve signed them personally. Writing their personal messages, I couldn’t help but get teary-eyed too. Man, the world has been a tough place lately.
But out there somewhere there’s a girl who is smiling as she hugs my books.
And right here, right now, there’s a boy who smiled…and has kept smiling for years to come.