Six-year-old Lily Watson knew she wasn’t allowed to go inside her school.
But the Grade 1 student from Dorothy Peacock Elementary knew that some of staff would be there the first day after spring break, so she begged her mom, Ashley, to take her down for a visit.
“We are all adjusting to the time we are in with this pandemic… Lily wanted to stop by and say hi, understanding she couldn’t go in,” Ashley said.
The first stop, for Lily, and her four-year-old sister Addy, was the window in front of the Walnut Grove school, to see one of her favourite people – Lori Lipp, the school’s administrative assistant.
“Normally, it’s her routine to give Lori hugs daily. Everyone absolutely adores this woman and our school is so lucky to have her,” Ashley said.
She described the bond between her eldest daughter and Lipp as “special.”
“Lily has really missed her over spring break and is sad knowing that it could very well be a long time before things return to normal,” Mom elaborated.
Armed with a handwritten note for Lipp – which said “hello” and expressing her love with words and a few hand drawn hearts – Lily held the note up to the glass. Then, the little girl put her hand up to the glass, as if to reach out and touch Lipp.
Lipp admitted, she was overwhelmed.
”It was powerful and so emotional. Lily and I are very connected,” she told the Langley Advance Times, describing the gesture as “sooo precious.”
“I am so spoiled by the amount of hugs and love I get from our school community. We have amazing families and staff,” added Lipp, who has worked for the school district for a dozen years, seven of those at Dorothy Peacock.
Lily’s mom feels the moment, which she caught on camera, is a testament to the role that educators play and the impact they have on the children’s lives.
“We are so fortunate to have Lori Lipp (the heart of soul of our school), the principal, Shawn Davids (who has been an amazing addition to the school this year), along with the rest of the incredible staff, doing what they can to make the best of this,” Ashley said.
REACTION AFTER THE IMAGE WAS SHARED
The Watsons were one of several families and students who came by the school on Monday, putting hands on hearts, waving, and blowing kisses, Lipp said.
”We even had families taping up hearts with written messages on them to the office windows. It was a very emotional day. Not the usual return from spring break that’s for sure. This distancing is hard on all of us,” she concluded.