Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Meeting Ann

Last week, Will, Mallory and I took a trip to see Maggie's first grade classroom.  After being a 5th grade math teacher for one awful year and two years as an ELL teacher, she now has her own group of six year olds for the entire year.

She's quite over the moon about that and so are we.  She has paid her teacher dues.

Last year she shared a room with the speech therapist, and though there is about a forty year age difference they became good friends.  While we were visiting I got to meet the famous Ann.

I had to go to speech therapy in high school and so I have a soft spot for the people whose work it is to correct those problems.   I didn't know there was anything wrong with me until I went to a screening, and within a few days I was being pulled out of social studies twice a week.  In the middle of class I'd get up and head for the door with my hall pass and inevitably the teacher would forget and say, "Where do you think you're going?"

Nothing like standing out when you're already awkward, shy, dorky and lispy.

Ann was instantly the kind of person you could see yourself being friends with.  Funny, energetic, passionate, happy.  We visited until it was time to get Mal to work, but before we left she said, "Maggie has shown me some things on your blog.  You're a wonderful writer.  She said you write every day."

"I usually do.  It's how I process things."

Ann's a runner.  She gets it.  No matter how tired or bored or sad or whatever, you fall back on That Thing.

"So," she said.  "When are you going to write a children's book?"

A children's book?

I have thought about that for years and never said it out loud to anyone.

Ann the speech therapist.

Ann the calm in the storm for my daughter.

Ann who uncovered my secret in ten minutes.

Oh, Ann.