Another Word for Love
By Steve Goodier
I knew a woman who always found an excuse to love.
I met her working at the most difficult job of my life - as a helper
in an after-school daycare center. I was completely unprepared for the
work; I had no training and my temperament seemed to be particularly
unsuited to the position.
I reminded myself that I was hired to watch the children, play with
them and lead arts and crafts - not fix all of their problems, of
which there were many. And my only help was Mrs. Tucker, a 73-year-old
retired social worker who worked with me. All that stood between the
kids and disaster was me and a 73-year-old woman. And I wasn't that
sturdy a defense! But I soon learned that Mrs. Tucker was a master
with these children.
"Some children just need more love," she always said. A case in point
was Timmy. Timmy received special help at school because of his
emotional problems. He was developmentally delayed. He often fought
with other children and was a compulsive hair-puller. I could never
get close to Timmy - he did not trust anyone. Anyone, that is, except
Mrs. Tucker. He responded her. He genuinely loved her because, I came
to believe, she loved him.
One day a fight broke out between Timmy and one of the other children.
After separating them, Mrs. Tucker directed Timmy to sit in a chair.
He screamed, "I HATE YOU, Mrs. Tucker! You're a mean, old lady! I hate
"I know you hate me right now, Timmy," she said firmly, "but I'm sure
not going to let you pull the other children's hair."
After a while Timmy had calmed down and Mrs. Tucker called him over.
His cheeks were still dirty and bore dried tear streaks. I could not
hear their conversation, but I saw Timmy put his arms around her neck.
When I walked by I heard him say, "I'm sorry I called you a mean old
lady, Mrs. Tucker." I knew he meant it.
A little later Mrs. Tucker said to me, "Timmy just needs more love
than other children."
On another occasion I heard Timmy's mother say, "You work magic with
him, Mrs. Tucker. He doesn't respond to anybody like he does to you."
Maybe so, but sometimes "magic" is just another word for "love."
Publisher@LifeSupportSystem.com is a professional
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