A beautiful and touching take on the season from a teacher.

Just Left Awkward, Suddenly Approaching Old

My daughter’s favorite story was one she called “Daniel’s Rock.” A far cry from Frosty the Snowman, I could count on being asked to recite it as Christmas approached. I’d begin when she’d picked up the small rock that sat on the southeast corner of my desk and had nestled herself in my lap.

The opening words never changed. “The last time I ever saw Daniel, he gave me this rock and told me about his boxes. It was a long time ago, before you were born.”

Daniel entered my life when I was a teacher. Before entering the room, he leaned against the doorjamb of Room 202, where I taught 5th grade. For a moment, he just eyed all of us. Blond bangs obscured half his face. His sneakers and checkered shirt were too big for him. His jeans had rips in the knees.

He had made his…

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