My first thought when they entered the room was “Oh, thank goodness, they’re back.” Three students I’d taught the year before who brought a friend who’s the sister of a girl I taught last year. I like teaching familiar faces. For selfish reasons, mostly. I don’t have to learn their learning styles because I already have. And I love teaching familiar faces. They’re delightful girls, and I’ve carried them in my heart for over a year now.
My second thought was, “Heavens. They grew.”
One grew about three inches and has long hair and braces. Another who was short and chubby a year ago is almost as tall as I am and slender. They’re all taller—they’re in that stage where they don’t really know what to do with their feet and are going to start looking worriedly into mirrors more often. Not that they need to. They haven’t stopped being beautiful. But their beauty is definitely changing.
The boys. I didn’t teach these boys, but I’d stand in last year when I was needed. The chunkiest one with the squeakiest voice is now looking down at me and his voice has dropped with his gaze. The other two, on the other hand, look exactly the same. A little taller, maybe, but their voices are just the same and still look small and boyish. Boys’ tendency to bloom late is perhaps one of the cruelest twists of pubescent fate, but I know that they’ll turn into men eventually.
No matter how they look or how old they get, they’re all lovely to me. They are precious in His sight, and so they are precious in mine.