My darling baby:
As I prepare my classroom for a new year, I have had time to reflect on your role in my room and the incredible impact you had last year. I am already so lucky to teach a kindergarten class with 10 children, one of them being your older brother Michael. Having you as part of our daily school life was more than I could hope for. I assumed as I grew larger and you became more evident to the children, you would be discussed in our room. Never would I have thought you would become a part of our school life so quickly.
The day after we told Michael about you, he began telling his friends you were inside of me, that you would be born after Christmas; he was going to be a big brother, he would no longer have to go to bed first and he would not have to go to school until Grade 1 because he is going to stay with the two of us.
The children started asking questions about you and what was happening to me. You were immediately identified as a person – a person who is growing, like each one of us, a person who needs love and protection, like all of us do, and a person who will have his or her own personality and way of doing things. Knowing you were a person, albeit a small one at that point, the children took you on as one of their class. They immediately began counting you as part of our head count, asking you what your choice was when we had votes and asking if you had had enough to eat and drink at lunch time. I took this opportunity and ran with it. We began looking at a chart of how big you were weekly, we talked about how you were developing and what I needed to do to help you. We measured you, compared you to us, asked the families to reflect on when their children were born and share those stories with us. You became my most powerful teaching tool.
Your presence in our room provided me with an unparalleled opportunity to teach 10 young children about life: that life begins at conception and that inside of me was not only a baby but a person. A person who needs to be nurtured and cared for, a person who needs to be respected and protected, a person who has specific likes and dislikes; in short, a person just like them.
They never questioned your importance or your right to have life. They never viewed it as my choice to have you but my obligation to protect and provide for. Those children knew life had begun.
I can feel you moving around frequently now and I often find myself reaching down to rub your expanding home. I welcome the opportunity to use you to teach about the importance of life to very young children. A message, if taught with honesty, conviction, respect and love that will last, making it harder for them to forget or dismiss as they grow older.
You, my little person, have made such a difference. You have made me a more conscious teacher of life issues and you have already made unborn babies important people to at least 10 impressionable children.
May you continue to grow in peace.