Monday, November 3, 2008

Stopping Time

If you've read any of my previous blog entries, you probably won't be surprised to learn that my Myers Briggs Type Indicator shows that I am extremely emotional. But you may be surprised to know that I cried at my school today. It's not so much that I's why I cried. You see, Lauren got her braces off.

I have now been away from the classroom, and my school, for almost five months. As North Carolina's Teacher of the Year, I have been zigzagging the state in my role as Teacher Ambassador. But my principal made sure to get on my calendar, and I go back to my school every other week to work with teachers and to stay connected to my students. But middle school kids change very quickly, so every other week isn't enough.

Last year we started class with five minutes of "Issues and Celebrations." Lauren would always start - "I have an issue!" she would pronounce. Then Matthew would tell us who he was mad at that day, and Nicole would tell us who she was in love would go on and on.

So today when Lauren showed me her perfectly straight teeth, I felt like a mother who missed her child's first step, and tears did sting my eyes. Lauren's announcement came after I noticed that Dominique is taller than me now, and after Tevin told me that Jamie is moving three states away. Jamie was standing there, too, but he stared at the floor unable to look at me. I stood before him and tried to swallow what I knew: the divorce that I had tried so hard to help Jamie deal with last spring was about to culminate in a difficult move to another state.

Tevin and Jamie..."Betty and Wilma" I called them last year because they giggled together constantly. I started my days with Lauren's issues and ended my days with Tevin and Jamie's giggles.

I love my job as North Carolina Teacher Ambassador. But I have an issue. I miss my kids. And every time I return to them, something else, however small, has changed. I know it's for the best. But sometimes I wish, just like I did with my own children, that I could make time stand still if only for a moment. Because I know in a couple of weeks I'm going to long to hear the sound of giggles. But it will be too late.

1 comment:

John said...
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