Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The sweetest visit - muffins and SM

I could not teach without the possibility that the students I fall in love with will reappear now and then.

Today was especially sweet.

Two former students stopped by. This is not unusual. What is unusual is that one of the boys struggles with Selective Mutism. I worked very closely with him all last year, but this very fact makes it all but impossible for him to talk to me. Further, the awkward act of reentering an old school building is daunting for someone with social anxiety.

But ... he came.

At first, my quiet boy sat on the steps, facing away, as if to wait outside. I opened the door. "Muffins. I have muffins. And look, I promise not to touch ..." The two had seen me bear-hug plenty of visitors in the past; I knew that this concern must have been foremost in his mind.

The quiet one rose and walked straight to my old room. I was beside myself.

I kept my promises -- muffins, no hugs -- and they impressed me with their new inches, haircuts, and freshman year stories. Well, one had stories. But both were there. And if I did not get an armful or an earful, well, an eyeful was enough for me.

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