The Power of Touch

“When we get too caught up in the busyness of the world, we lose connection with
one another – and ourselves”

Jack Kornfield

Let me paint a picture for you. I return home from a couple emotional weeks away and its time to return to the classroom. My suitcases are still in the car, so I head to the classroom sans make up and as put together as my emotional self and daughter will allow for. I will have to admit I almost cancelled. I almost gave into the wallowing but  remembering the joy I get from being with the children I get in my car and go. Questioning my choice the whole way.

I walk through the door of the classroom and I am greeted by the kindergarten teacher. She is so kind, so sincere…… so inviting I start to think this was the right choice. I haven’t prepared like I usually do. I simply did the best I could the night before.  I get out my doll, book and pictures I will be using for this group. I straighten my hair as much as possible. The bell rings. Children run in and hang up their coats. They see me in the chair, they smile, they get excited, some want to tell me stories of what is happening in their lives. I can feel the joy entering.

We start our circle we are talking about why babies cry and thinking of questions to ask our baby’s mom. I see a young boy with special needs rolling around near my ankles. It doesn’t bother me, whatever allows him to be part of the group. He reaches out and touches my leg. It doesn’t bother me but his support worker helps him sit up and asks him to keep his hands to himself. He continues to roll around, I move through my conversation with the group. I decide we need to get up and move, so I stand up and ask the children if they would like to join me. I start to sing and soon I feel two small hands slip into mine.

I don’t have to look down. I know who it is. I continue to lead the group in singing and activities but I never let go of his hands. When I do look into his face I see calm. It is time to sit again. I keep one of his hands in mine.  The children and I are engaged in conversations about what they think our baby will be able to do the next time he visits. The boy is still.  Whenever I look his way I see calm. As I wrap up the circle with a small hand still in mine I feel calm.

We sing our goodbye song. He releases my hand. I look at him and we connect with our eyes as I sing the last verse of the song.  I smile and say “thank you Nicholas” and he gives me a knowing look.

When I walked into that classroom I was caught up in my own busyness, my own wallowing. Two little hands slowed me down and  reminded me I was not alone.

Thank you Nicholas! 


About Danielle

Danielle is an Early Childhood Educator,blogger, self admitted ECE geek, Preschool teacher, Mother and project coordinator for The Images of Learning Project. These days she juggles presenting, conference calls and blogging with playing with her daughter and nursing her son. She looks forward to the day where she can once again finish her morning coffee.

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