Back in the spring, when the air was cool, and the sun was warm, I planted a garden. Then summer happened. If you have never had the pleasure of summering in Missouri, you need to try it. It will make you appreciate where you live! The weatherman rates the heat index for us each night on the 10:00 News for the following day. Since June had hit, we had been stuck in “The Air Is My Ocean” category. And then, the rains came. (Rain seems like a mild word. Perhaps torrential downpours is a better fit.) A week of unrelenting, will-it-ever-stop rain. Scott and I joked about building an ark. Thankfully, we didn’t need the ark, and now we are back to suffocating when we step outside.
I decided it was time to check on my garden again. I thrilled to find a zucchini. Last year I had planted seeds and had beautiful flowers but no zucchini to munch. I was dying to share this triumph. I went straight to my desk, shoved aside the book I was reading, and positioned my prize for the Facebook photo I was certain would light up my feed. The world needed to celebrate this zucchini! My dutiful friends, sweet, kind and obviously bored, started clicking the Like button. All of sudden, PING! I had a comment.
My friend, Wendy, had seen my picture and commented:
“He was growing while you were reading with Post-its and a highlighter! So, so you! I had to laugh when I saw that in the background!”
This comment made me smile. I miss Wendy. We went through Reading Recovery training so many years ago, back before we were blessed with stretch marks. (Wendy probably still doesn’t have stretch marks. I’m sure I received her share of the blessing with mine.) If you want to be bonded to someone, go through Reading Recovery training with them. That will do it! But I realized why her comment touched me. Yes, I miss Wendy, she lives in South Carolina now. But her comment touched me because it is proof that she knows me. She doesn’t just “know” me. She knows the deeper part of me. She knows who I am, how I think, how I act. She knows me so well, she knows how I read.
It reminded me of when I was lucky enough to have my own classroom. I would spend so much of my time saying, “I see you, Dakota. You can build a tower that is as tall as you. I see you, Tiffany. You shared your crayons with Quinesha.” Our community was built on being known, being seen. I need to do a better job of slowing down and seeing those around me in my current life–my husband, my sons, my friends. Rosie makes sure she is seen! I have the scratches to prove it. We all have a deep, insatiable need to be seen, to be known. Perhaps if we all spent more time seeing each other, the world would be a bit friendlier because of it.