Gabbi, my thirteen year old who had the unenviable blessing of falling smack dab in the middle of the birthing order of Clan Allen and who landed as my “middle child” has always been my most … shall we say, headstrong kidlen. She’s the sort that makes grownups smack their forehead and sigh, “That kid!” Oh, the tales I could tell. Suffice to say that she is the Allen I’d least likely expect to receive an unexpected kindness from. Bless her heart.
Yesterday this lil’ wonder decided to gather a small bunch of wildflowers and leave them on my desk for me. I was plumb flummoxed. I really cannot find a way to adequately express in words just how much, and just how deeply, this unbidden thoughtfulness touched my heart.
It reminded my of my days as a high school teacher. It seemed every year there was always “That Kid.” You know, that one student who managed to stick up so far in my craw that I wanted to pull my hair out in frustration. That one kid who seemed completely unreachable, and truth be told, at times even appeared unlovable.
Here’s the miracle. It never failed. That was always the one student who broke my heart … and then crawled right into the broken space and nestled in for the long haul.
To this day, so many years later, whenever something brings “That Kid” to mind, I say a quick prayer for them wherever they are in Life. Some of those children are in their late-thirties and forties now. The lil’ stinkers; they’re still in my heart. And, I’m glad. Because, dagnabbit, I love “That Kid.”
C’mon fellow grown-ups, I’m thinkin’ you can relate.