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Brother’s Best Friend
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I need her by my side…
I became a Dad overnight….
Gone are the days of bachelor nights.
I crave her soft skin.
And is she ready to become a mother overnight?
|Books by Author:|
“Alright, guys. Take your seats. Today, we’re going to be making our own animated flip-book.”
The kids groaned as they made their way to their seats. All I did was smile. At the beginning of my career three years ago, I would’ve taken their groans personally. But now, three years into teaching art to elementary students, I didn’t take anything personally.
Elementary school was hard enough. We weren’t the hardest teachers to find, but we were the hardest teachers to keep. It was easy to dream about working with innocent kids all day. But elementary school kids were some of the most brutally honest people I’d ever met. They had no issues criticizing, teasing, and crying at the drop of a hat in order to get their way. And while most people argued that middle school were the hardest three years of any child’s life, I begged to differ. Elementary school came with shifts and social settings and stimuli that were completely foreign to them.
These were some of the toughest years for any child.
That was one of the reasons why I made it my concentration while getting my Education degree. I felt like elementary school kids needed teachers that were able to buckle down and stay in their atmosphere for more than a couple of years. Object permanence developed during those years, so students were painfully aware of teachers that came and left quickly. At that age, they needed stability away from home. They needed other adults they could trust, create foundations with, and lean on since their parents weren’t around during the school day.
So, I did whatever I could to make myself that person.
“I know, I know. Flipbooks aren’t as cool as the comic books your parents read you at night. But if you’re good for me in class today and do as I ask, I’ve got a special surprise for you guys,” I said.
The kids perked up, and they quickly took their seats. Surprises always got them in their seats. Every once in a while, we’d have a good streak where three or four days in a row, they wouldn’t give me any trouble. But this week had been rough. It was the middle of the semester, and assessments were stressing them out. The holidays loomed around the corner, and the kids kept trying to talk about their plans. It was hard gaining their attention. So, I reverted to the old “surprise box.”
“What’s the surprise, Miss Harper?”
I smiled. “If I told you, it wouldn’t be a surprise, would it?”
They groaned again, and I held up my finger, which promptly ceased the groans. I started passing out supplies they’d need for their flipbook, then started jotting down the instructions on the whiteboard. Some of my students learned by reading things on the board, and some of them learned by me showing them. So, I implemented both tactics in my classroom to get the best of both worlds.
Suddenly, my phone pinged at my desk.
“Ooooo, Miss Harper has her phooooone oooooon.”
The students giggled as I shook my head. I finished scribbling the words onto the whiteboard as nicely as I could. Then, I walked them through the instructions. I showed them my flipbook. I showed them where to draw the images and why. I passed my booklet around so they could take a look at it to see how I decorated it. As they ogled over my handiwork, I sat down at my desk and pulled my phone out of my drawer. My hands trembled as I saw my brother’s text message. Last night had been a doozy. His best friend’s sister had gone to the hospital after being found unconscious on the floor of her bedroom. Her sweet little daughter had called 911 while trying to shake her awake, and we all feared the worst.
Lance: Come to my house after work. Susie died.
My world came to a careening halt. My first thought was that of Millie, Susie’s five-year-old girl. Tears rushed to my eyes as my fingers typed across the keyboard, and I didn’t care that my students heard. I didn’t care that they were staring at me and whispering among themselves, trying to figure out what was wrong while the only adult in the room attempted to gather herself.
Me: I’ll be there.
I sniffled as I turned my phone on silent, and as I looked up, all eyes were on me. The students’ heads were cocked, staring at me as if I’d grown a third eyeball, waiting for me to teach them. I felt frozen in my spot. I felt empty. Weak. I’d known Susie for years. I’d tried to help her for years. Postpartum depression was a nasty devil, and some women never recuperated.
Some women like Susie turned to other sources of relief, not understanding they’d leave their children behind.
“Miss Harper? What’s wrong?”