Every year I fall in love, and every year I'm left.
They have flown away to high school.
All of the promotion speeches are terrific--I especially appreciate the way N. expresses his initial fears of entering the sixth grade, something like "I was apprehensive, given my diminutive stature and what I'd heard about the social hierarchy...I was a baby gazelle, easy prey to lions that shaved twice a day...." Oh my gosh! His speech is hilarious and inspirational, and yes, that's really how he writes. His delivery is natural and wreathed in smiles, but my eyes get all teary.
The promotion music is fabulous. A. confidently strums her guitar--I didn't know she plays the guitar! And then she confidently sings. I didn't know she sings!--and my teary eyes don't get a break.
I get into a compliment war with K.'s mom. "You taught her so much and have enabled her to get this far!" "She only came this far because you have supported her at home!" "But the lessons you gave her will shape and affect her entire career!" "And her drive and work ethic were right there from day one, because of your fine parenting!" (We hug it out. Truce.)
J's dad says, "You are much prettier without your beard." I don't know how to respond until he reminds me that he'd first met me at Open House when I was dressed up in honor of International Talk Like a Pirate Day, complete with pirate whiskers. Now J. has to move to Okinawa--dad's military orders. J. is not glad about this, so our hug has some sorrow, and J. does not promise to come visit as so many of them do. I try to give him the bright, you'll-get-out-there-and-it'll-be-awesome smile (one of dozens of smile types a teacher uses), but we both have trouble...
They are resplendent. I do not exaggerate when I say that this was the best year yet. One proof? Every year I pass out sweaters to enforce our school dress code. Not
one sweater this year. I'm telling ya. The boys are sharp and the girls look like butterflies.
They finish strong and classy and are utterly beautiful. There is no question that I love me some summer, but instead of the usual mad and delirious whoops of joy, I leave campus with some seriously damp eyes.