After recess today my students returned to the classroom. As Margaux -- pronounced Mar-GOH, not to be mistaken for “Margo”-- walked in the door, her shoulders were slumped forward. She moseyed on over to her desk and put her head down.
“Margaux?” I asked, kneeling beside her. No response.
“Margaux?” I asked again. “What’s the matter?” She took a deep sigh and picked her head up, pushing the bangs off of her forehead. “Did something happen at recess?”
“Did someone hurt your feelings?”
We went back and forth another few times until she sighed again and said, “Ok, you really wanna know?” I nodded encouragingly. “I have to fly today.”
Oh thank God, I thought. Crisis averted. There was no big drama on the playground that I missed, no philosophical question I had to find an answer to. Just a little girl who was afraid to get on an airplane.
“Is it your first time flying, sweetie?” I crooned. Katie yanked her head back and scrunched up her face, appalled. She might as well have given me the finger. It was as if I proposed eating spiders for lunch.
With the sass of a teenager she said, “No Mrs. Holland, It’s my first time flying COM-MER-CIAL.”
I stared at her, dumbfounded. I may have rolled my eyes at her. And with that, she pranced over to the library and yanked a book out of another child’s hand.