Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Witness Protection Program

Today was the last day of school and, as part of the last awards assembly of the year, N's teacher gave him a "Personal Success" award, for improvement and progress in writing. She gave me a week's notice, so that I could work with N to make sure he would go up and get the award. I told her it would be no problem, because I knew it wouldn't be a problem at all. What I didn't promise was that he would stand there and smile like all the rest of the kids. Because I knew I couldn't make that happen.

But here's the silver lining: If he'd stood there and smiled, I couldn't have put this photo up here on my blog!

Today was very emotional for Em. Not only is she TOTALLY her mother's daughter in her hatred of all things that involve change (and especially all things that involve endings that lead to change), but also her much-beloved fifth-grade teacher, Mr. D, is leaving the school in order to go teach in a local middle school. (It's a huge loss for the school. I've never met a teacher like him before.) And so saying goodbye to him today didn't just mean saying goodbye to him for the summer, which would have been rough enough, but it meant saying a final goodbye to him.

She was sobbing so hard by the time she reached me that I had to pull her onto a grassy area (in the shade--it's 103 right now, at 3:30 pm, and this was at noon) because she couldn't walk. And then, as the other crying girls wandered out of the classroom, I gathered them up as well. "Come join us in the crying corner," I called to them. For a small group, they generated a whole lot of tears.

I was totally sympathetic until, when we were finally able to get up and walk home, Em started crying again.

"Now what's the matter?" I asked.

"If I'm this sad about saying goodbye to Mr. D, how hard is it going to be next year, when I have to say goodbye to the whole SCHOOL!" she wailed.

No, she didn't appreciate the fact that I guffawed in her face.


Green said...

Won't Em see this teacher when she goes to middle school (if she isn't already there)?

N is adorable. I am, and always have been, very uncomfortable with concentrated attention on me. It was drummed into me from an early age to smile and fake it. Can N pretend to be someone else he knows who IS comfortable when he's got attention on him?

(Are you going to BlogHer? I am not, but it's in my city so if you are I would love to meet you for ... well, it's hot, so maybe a Jamba Juice instead of coffee.)

Valle said...

Aidan graduated from elementary today...his aide was a complete sobbing mess. Aidan couldn't have been happier! He was bouncing around the place, getting pictures of all the cute girls.

When I asked him if he was sad about leaving, he said, "I'm done with this place."

Ah, youth - ever looking forward.

po said...

Oh, I totally understand the extreme future sadness thing :)! Nothing like obsessing in advance!

I'm sure Mr. D was probably a little teary eyed himself, and gratified that he was so loved and appreciated there. (even if he was a Trojan! :p)