Updated: May 2, 2019
I get distracted easily and I daydream a lot. I’ve been this way ever since I was a child, losing focus while my teachers seemed to drone on endlessly. I would look to the front of the classroom and look at them and try to listen as they taught the lesson but my eyes would drift, searching the room for something else to fixate upon, eventually tuning them out completely.
So many days of doing this, and it going unnoticed, and I eventually just fell behind. I spent most of my time in elementary school just barely keeping up and sometimes only seeming to receive attention from well-meaning, sympathetic teachers who (I assume) could see the confusion in my eyes as I struggled to focus.
One teacher in particular stood out and remains to this day one of my favorite teachers of all time. Her name was Mrs. Sutterfield and she had a soft, sweet nature about her and she smelled like lavender. She was kind to me and took her time to make sure that I was tuning in long enough to learn and keep up with everyone else and never drawing attention to me.
It was third grade and while everyone else had learned the order of the months sometime prior, possibly while my mind was adrift, I had not memorized them well enough to know in which order they fell on the calendar. Noticing that I needed help but knowing it would embarrass me greatly to say so in class, she scribbled down a note and passed it to me with the greatest discretion and told me to go to the restroom. I looked into her eyes and just knew not to open the note until I had locked the stall door of the bathroom behind me. The note was of the months, all listed in order, for me to keep and study. I looked it over several times, repeating the months over and over again in my head and then I went back to the classroom and took my seat.
She became my hero that day. I never told anyone about it and I cannot remember but I hope that I said thank you. Part of my own growth as a person was nurtured by people like Mrs. Sutterfield who could see that the dreamy-eyed girl in her class just needed a little help and a push in the right direction.
While it is my wandering mind that lets my creativity thrive, it can also cause me to be just a little bit foggy at times and a helping hand leading me back to reality is a blessing. I'm thankful for all of the people in my life who have allowed me to create and be imaginative but also acted as my sheppards when I needed some guidance back to reality.
I pray that if my son turns out to be like me, a daydreamer with his head in the clouds and far-far away from class, that there will be a sweet-natured, lavender-scented hero that will grab him by the hand and lead him back.
Be a hero, save an artist.