Today was the first official day of summer vacation. I told John I'd like to sleep in this morning, "so please don't bother waking me if I'm still sleeping when you leave for work". Yeah, like THAT was gonna happen. Everyone in my household was up before 7am. They don't even wake up that early on school mornings. So much for summer slumber. By 8am I had everyone fed and the dishwasher unloaded (John did that for me, sweet, huh?) and the kitchen cleaned and the newspaper read and now I'm blogging 'cause I don't know what else to do. This may be a long day. But I love long days, so all is good.
I'm so full of gratitude this morning and I want to tell you how much I love Will's teacher. I love all of my children's teachers, but Will's was extra-special this year. She has officially replaced Mrs. C as his *all-time favorite* and Mrs. C was a tough contender! Last year was a rough one for our boy. He finished the school year pretty dejected--"I'm not a good kid, I'm not a smart kid, etc, etc". None of that was true but somewhere along the way he started believing those things. So we spent most of last summer praying about his new teacher and asking God for a good group of boys in his class. Wow. How incredibly God answered those prayers this school year. Mrs. P is the best thing that could have happened to Will. He is a totally different kid. She has challenged him in so many ways and we have seen his self-confidence soar. She absolutely loves Will and believes in him and tells him that all the time. I've watched her with her students and they LOVE her. The girls are always hanging on her and even the boys give her hugs. But they respect her too. She's nurturing to the core, but she's firm at the same time. She's really got the whole balance thing down.
So yesterday afternoon I was waiting for my kids on the school grounds instead of in the pick-up line. I wanted to help them carry all their "stuff" and I wanted to take their picture on the last day of school. I was standing and shivering with a couple other moms from Will's class (it was 39 degrees and raining at the time!) and one of the girls from his class walks up with big 'ole tears streaming down her face. We said our goodbyes, and got in the van. I asked Will once we were home why his friend was crying. He said that Mrs. P started crying when she told the class goodbye and then all the girls started crying and it was one big emotional hoo-ha. Well, I was crying by that point too. I'd been crying off and on all day in fact. I cry almost as much on the LAST day of school as I do on the first. I cry because my children are one year older and more independent of me, and because one year has passed that can never be recovered or re-lived. And that makes me sad. But I was also crying because Will's teacher touched not only his young life but those of a couple dozen more and they were all genuinely sad that a very good year was coming to a close. And there goes my tear-faucet again.
Seeing that little girl walk over to her mom yesterday with tears in her eyes--tears of sadness from saying goodbye to one she loved--will be etched in my mind for a long time. I've been telling God this morning how thankful I am for the gift of Mrs. P. And for her tremendous influence on my son's life. She is amazing.