I spent the whole weekend with a knot in my stomach. I felt like I had something hanging over me. My son, Ethan’s former teacher had grabbed me Friday afternoon when I arrived to pick him up.

“The new principal wants to talk to you. He’s already gone for the day, but first thing Monday, you need to be in his office. I told him that if he’s going to send the kid back to me, he should just get it over with.”

Ethan left this teacher’s class for a reason. The former principal had been understanding enough to move my son into another classroom. Ethan thrived. The principal never bothered to fill out the corresponding paperwork. When the new principal arrived, he realized that one student wasn’t attending the correct class.

Monday morning, I waited outside the new principal’s office imagining scenarios. I could threaten homeschooling Ethan, if I had to.

I waited for an hour and a half as the principal attended the mothers in front of me. Finally, my turn arrived.

“You see,” he began, “your child is not in the correct class. I’ve looked at the paperwork.”

I explained Ethan’s unusual case. To my surprise, the principal listened. He confirmed my story with my son’s current teacher and promised to start a transfer paper trail right away.

Paper may tell a certain story, but looking into the eyes of another human being, listening, and feeling that person’s perspective changes everything.

It is tempting to read all the scary news stories and worry about the world around us. I encourage us instead to listen to people, face to face, and understand their situation. Amazing things can happen.