Honoring The Kiss


When I entered 1st grade in 1939, Mrs. Dickerson, a kind, soft spoken, gentle woman was our teacher. One day, she assigned some quiet seat work to the class and then invited my friend Donnie and me to sit by her and read with her. Neither of us knew that she was giving us some individualized attention because we were struggling readers.
Mrs. Dickerson made both of us feel special. After reading with her, she asked us a comprehension question that neither of us could answer. She suggested that we think about it over night.
That night, I dreamed the answer and rushed to school to tell her. I burst into the room and shouted, “Mrs. Dickerson, I know the answer.” With a smile on her face, she quietly asked, “What is it?” I gave her the answer, and with an even bigger smile, she said, “Yes, that’s it.” And then she leaned down and gave me a kiss on the cheek. I began to love reading and eventually went to college to become a teacher. I felt that in becoming a teacher, I was honoring that kiss. Now a man in my 70’s, I still feel that kiss, its kindness, and how it acknowledged me.