I was a young mother and teacher. I had a loving husband and had just started working at a new school. Our careers and lives were on the right path. Our pastor’s wife was raising children of her own and had happily agreed to watch our baby while we were at work.
So what was the problem? I knew our daughter was in caring hands. I knew the babysitter had a nurturing environment. I even knew that the babysitter loved our daughter like one of her own. The problem: I was tremendously jealous of the babysitter.
I would cry at night feeling guilty for having to leave our baby. I would cry because I felt like someone else was raising our baby. My husband comforted and counseled, but I still cried and was still filled with jealousy and guilt.
One day, I shared my feelings with a dear friend. (I call her Peace, she calls me Joy.) I shared how I was jealous of the love the babysitter had for our daughter. She just shook her head and laughed. “Marilyn,” she said, “that’s exactly what you want. How blessed is she (my daughter) to have someone love her that much.” That hit home. My friend was right. I was being selfish thinking that we, her parents, were the only ones to love her. I should look at it as a privilege that others would love her like we do.
This was my lesson. There is a triangle of trust that comes into play. Just as I left my daughter in the care of the babysitter, my student’s parents were sending their children to me. In essence, I was like the babysitter that was spending the day with their children. These parents were trusting me to educate, nurture, and love them, just like I was trusting the babysitter.
Twenty years later, this is still the biggest lesson I’ve learned as an educator. Academics are important, but the relationship with our students and their parents, are even more important. We are entrusted with precious children. Let’s treat them like our own. John 13:34 tells us to “Love one another.” Let’s make it our goal, daily, to do just that.
Marilyn . . .