I’ve always felt that working with children was the best way to use my talents. Oh, I’ve tried other jobs, but I kept coming back to my first love, teaching children.
I wasn’t paid as much for teaching as for the other work I tried, but I had so much fun with the children that if laughter was a dollar, I was definitely a millionaire.
I had many romances during those 40 years that I taught. I could tell on the first day of school which boys had a crush on me. The look in their five-year-old eyes gave it away.
One year, before I was married (when I was Miss Turner) a boy came to my desk and asked to see every charm on my bracelet. For my birthday, I received the cutest little desk charm. True love.
Another year, a boy gave me red roses on Valentine’s Day. And I can’t tell you how many bouquets of dandelions I received each spring!
But I’m afraid that I actually broke one little boy’s heart. Brian fully planned on marrying me. It happened the spring that Mr. Stewart the gym teacher finally asked me to marry him.
My whole class was abuzz when they saw my diamond ring!
One recess that week, Brian and I were swinging side by side and we struck up a conversation.
“We sure do have a lot in common, don’t we?”
“Yes, Brian we do. What common things were you thinking about?”
“Well, for one thing, we both like to swing.”
“And for another thing, we both like to read.”
“Yes, we do.”
“So if things didn’t work out with you and your fiancé Mr. Stewart, then just count me in!”
I didn’t know what to say at first. My second proposal within the week! I decided to accept his offer.
“Alright Brian, if it doesn’t work out with Mr. Stewart I will definitely count you in!”
I’m retired now.
They threw me a party with all my great friends and cut me loose. I spend my days now volunteering at the local elementary school.
He soared through elementary school, then middle school and high school. Then college. Then a master’s degree in teaching! I hear he works in New York City.
He may have forgotten his proposal on the swing set that day but I remember it as if it were yesterday. And I chuckle every time I think of it.
Sometimes I think of calling him on the phone.
But there is no need.
For more than 37 years, Mr. Stewart has worked out.
Peter Stewart is an author, lecturer, performer and composer. Currently, he is the director of Sing and Learn Music and leader of the Potato Chip Band. His website is: www.peter-stewart.com