I find that I feel love for what I admire. I admire my children because I think the way that they try so hard is amazing. I am impressed by their effort and by the amazing results they produce. I find their insights and their questions to be fascinating. I am thrilled and touched by how their minds work. I love these questions that are so simple and yet to which I often have no answer. Oftentimes I simply haven't thought of them before.
I also find that I feel love for something beautifully executed. When I see a sport played to perfection, when I see a play performed with joy and integrity, when I see somebody transformed by who they become when they are lost within the passion and the joy of an experience, I feel a surge of love towards them, sometimes even a oneness with them.
In these moments, all I want to do is find a way to pass on this feeling of gladness and joy to the children who create the feeling in me. I want them to see how much I value them and their achievements and accomplishments. I want them to realize that I love that they climbed the mountain and that I think the sight of them standing on the tip is breathtaking. I want them to see how incredible I think they are. In these moments, what I want to do most of all is share.
I admire my children. I admire the effort they put into their work, their questions, their intelligence, their passions and the things which they do well. I find them to be made in the image of God and I find that this shines through whether they wish it to or not. I am gladdened by them and I find my days to be less weary because of them.
They also make me laugh. They entertain me and their antics in class amuse me. We have the "Sassy Much?" slogan in one class and various other catchphrases in other classes. I'm still working on learning how to be better at classroom discipline and firmness, but I know I've got the love part down. And I know that this is what drives me when I feel sad.
Who knew that love for a child could be such an uplifting force? It's not even a child's love for me. I'm not in their hearts and I don't know what they feel. But I know what I feel towards them and even that is enough to make the difference. They are treasures- sometimes frustrating, disrespectful, authority-challenging, difficult people- but treasures nonetheless. And I feel like God has Chosen me to work with them and I struggle to try to ensure that I am worthy of His Choice.
Love floats banners and carries ships; it buoys me up and sinks my discomfort. It is the magical antidote to misery, and for me there is something specific to the love of children that makes it matter more.