Teresa. Taren. Loki. TQ. The Bean.
All of these names are for my now 17-year-old daughter who is one of the true lights of my life. I appreciate all the extra time I have gotten to spend with her this year, whether it was going to Maine together last summer or driving her to school or work. I cannot believe she is 17 today. It seems like a blink in so many ways to when I was holding her in my arms and could carry her around all day long.
As I have mentioned, I didn’t get to have time with Ryan when he was a baby, so TQ was my first opportunity to develop that bond that only holding someone every day as an infant can bring. I love taking care of her so much. I probably spoil her a bit but she’s developed into such a strong, wonderful, beautiful person. She’s also sarcastic and moody and pretty stubborn when she knows she’s right about something, but I love those parts of her, too.
I hope she has a wonderful day today and I’ll be missing her greatly for the next month. Happy birthday, Bean. Your dad loves you so much that I will make you some brownies tonight before I go to bed.
Today is really the last day of school for me. What a crazy year. It’s really sinking in this morning that I can put an end to this particular chapter. I’ve been cleaning my classroom and going through the drawings my students have given me and their work. It was amazing to see them grow this year.
I will truly miss many of these students next year. Wonderful little souls on the verge of becoming tweens and teens. They were so sweet to me, for the most part, and I hope they know how much they have brightened my life. It was a privilege to be their teacher and hopefully I was able to give them a few tools that will help make life a little easier.
I had some wonderful parents this year, too. Given a little time to think about things, it makes a teacher’s life so much easier to have parents who are involved and care. I had a few that also got it, I think, as to student’s younger brothers and sisters over the next few years so I can have that kind of support again. Each year brings a new crop of families into my life, and they become people that I care about, root for, and wish great things will come their way.
I could write a book about the things some of the students and their parents have shared with me over the years. You know, we watch these superhero movies about the omniverses and infinite realities, but the truth is that there is a multiverse happening all around us all the time. Getting to know some of my students’ stories, and a bit of their parents’ stories, is so amazing to me and helps me stay grounded when dealing with behavior. Behind that smiling face sitting in the back row of your class, there may be a world of hurt and confusion and fear.
I hold a lot of love in my heart for my students, but it is even better sometimes seeing how much their parents love them. During the end of the regular school year and now through summer school, it has been awesome to see it firsthand.
Off to teach for a few hours and then run some last-minute errands. I can’t decide if I should blog in the evenings after each day or if I should write in the mornings before I go. If there is no blog tomorrow until the evening, you’ll know what I chose.
See you tomorrow on the road to Amarillo.
In the woods a few years ago. She's wearing my shirts, as usual.