‘Don’t look for love. Quietly give it away and let it find you back.’
I had the sweetest experience yesterday, and this quote captured the essence of it perfectly.
Our 8-year-old son had a first time appointment with a reading tutor… and to put it mildly he was not looking forward to this new adventure. The tutor, ‘Mrs. B.’ had come highly recommended to us by a good friend who assured us that she had a magical way with children. Mrs. B was not young, and had long ago retired as a teacher. Because of her love for her craft, she now devoted many hours each week to tutoring grade school aged children like Ajay.
I was grateful we had been given her name, but as we drove across town for the meeting, I was a little worried about her age in combination with Ajay’s level of rambunctiousness. When we pulled up to her house, before I even parked and turned my car off she was out in the driveway welcoming us in. She was kind and enthusiastic as she gently ushered Ajay into her home and toward the kitchen table. As I prepared to follow them, a twinkly eyed man who introduced himself as John intercepted me in the entryway. He spoke with a slight German accent as he motioned for me to step into the family room where there was a recliner with a footstool next to it. He sat down in the recliner and made an exaggerated motion on top of the footstool indicating he wanted me to sit there. He then began to give me the most sincere and glowing recommendation of his wife’s way with children. His love and admiration was palpable. She was already very busy with Ajay so she was oblivious to what he was saying but I knew that she must be well aware of how much her husband loved and respected her. I had known him less than five minutes and his level of devotion to and respect for her had already touched me deeply.
I spent the majority of our hour-long appointment sitting in my car in the driveway- doing paperwork while Ajay and Mrs. B worked away at the kitchen table. But as our hour drew to a close and I walked quietly back in the front door, John was once again quick to meet me and draw me to the same spot where he sat in his recliner and I sat on the foot stool. He pointed toward Ajay and Mrs. B and smiled as he said ‘Look at those two- head to head, they been like that the whole hour!’ Sure enough, I peeked around the corner and Ajay and Mrs. B were snug as two bugs in a rug together, busily working on sentences about an Anaconda in the Amazon.
As John continued to talk, this time his words of praise were not just for his beloved wife- it seemed that Ajay had made an impression on him too. That same twinkle danced in his eyes as he smiled and said, “That boy of yours- he’s really something. He was making the kitchen table shake he was writing so hard….’ An hour into knowing him and John was already loving our boy.