In 1995, I was just your average, American kindergartener. As a 5 year old, I was thinking of nothing but friends, recess and maybe a few nerves in my first year of “real” school. Nearly 20 years later, I understand the biggest lesson I learned that year.
That year a very special women walked into my life. At the time, I am not sure either of us could have told you the role we would have in each others lives. We were just a teacher and a student: Mrs. Lynn Williams and Bethany Baggett.
Worth County Kindergarten Class of 1996 passed by like I imagine any other kindergarten experience. However, it happened to be my last year before homeschooling and Mrs. Williams last year as a teacher. That summer, Mrs. Williams had her first child, Maci. My mom took me and friend over to meet the new baby.
On Maci’s 1st birthday I received a picture of her eating bright red watermelon and a note from Mrs. Williams.
Time passed and I continued to grow up, but from time to time I would receive a letter from Mrs. Williams. In 8th grade I was in the paper for a math competition (I know, I know).. and I remember this because Mrs. Williams cut out the article and mailed it to me. It is still hanging in my closet with the note she wrote.
Several years later as a senior in high school, a friend and I spent spring break in Panama City. Who would have guessed Mrs. Williams would have a condo down the hall where she was spending the week with her three kids. We were able to catch up once more and spend the days laying by the pool together.
Now it’s two weeks before I leave the country, I’m newly married, Maci left for college, and Mrs. Williams and I are having coffee together. Times definitely have changed from the teacher and student we once were, but the influence she has had on my life is unforgettable.
That year of kindergarten taught me you never know the impact you can have in someone’s life. From a 5 year old to a 24 year old this wonderful woman has been very much admired by me. I am proud to say she went from my teacher to my friend. And how cool is it that I can spend spring break, text, call, have coffee, and continue to look up to my kindergarten teacher.