A reflection by Sunelle le Roux
Apart from the 10 000 litres of air that my grateful lungs receive through my diligent breathing every day, I have received many other gifts throughout my life. Each day is a gift (in my case at least 17 000 gifts of unrelenting sunrises). I am blessed with a brain with 86 billion neurons. Yep, that’s me, (and you have the same!) A lot to be thankful for already!
My work as a pre-primary teacher is a priceless gift.
From the first time I pulled on the big, red bow of this treasured gift, countless small gifts started to present (pun not intended!) themselves. Energy-filled little bodies bouncing around, every smile a gift. Every hug, every exuberant laugh, every little hand in mine is a precious and unique gift. So many priceless moments unfold every morning when I unlock my classroom door at 7:15. Someone is going to write her name for the first time today. Someone will complete his first fifty-piece puzzle and beam with pride. I will overhear yet another four-year old’s hilarious conversation with a friend that is guaranteed to put a grin on my face until bedtime.
Yes, there are tears. Seventeen vulnerable little hearts that hurt when someone utters a harsh word or knees and hands that hurt from a fall. Or toes… many, many bleeding big toes! That’s a lot of teary, mud streaked faces. O, but the tears dry up so easily. See, we have all received the greatest gift, the gift of love and it is so easy to give away. It dries up tears almost effortlessly. (In most cases anyway!)
To all parents: May I remind you that you are a gift. A very significant gift to a beautiful – and vulnerable- child. The gift a child needs most, is the gift of a parent. Someone who they can snuggle up to, who will read them a story. Someone who loves them unconditionally, who is available for a hug, a smile or a gentle word of encouragement. What a privilege. What a responsibility.
I asked my daughter what came to mind when I say the word “gift”. Her answer: “Love and joy, mostly because of the people that are in our lives.” We have breath, we have life, we are living, walking, talking gifts. May our words bring joy and love. My prayer is that I may accomplish this assignment and that when I fall, I will shake off the dust and receive the grace to carry on. After all: “We are like common clay jars that carry this glorious treasure within, so that the extraordinary overflow of power will be seen as God’s, not ours.” (Quoted from 2 Corinthians 4, The Passion Translation)