Friday, June 25, 2010

On Saying Good-Bye.

"Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened." ~Dr. Seuss

I said good-bye to my kinderkids on Wednesday. It was a day that I expected to be filled with emotion, happy for what they accomplished, yet sad to see them walk out of my room for the last time.  Usually it's the children who challenge me the most that stir up the most emotion in me. In the past I would find myself a little choked up as I hugged each child and  sent them on their way. But this year was different. I didn't feel much of anything, and that bothered me. Was I becoming cold-hearted and unfeeling?

I thought that maybe after a few years at this I had become immune to the sadness that comes with saying good-bye, or perhaps the sense of relief that I felt after a particularly hard year was masking the sadness, hiding it for me to deal with at another time. 

But after two days of packing up my room to move across the hall, while watching my friend Leanne pack up hers to move to another school, watching Diane my friend and retiring principal pack up her office and my friend Pattie our retiring adjustment counselor pack up her office, it hit me. I had bigger emotional fish to fry. I have not become cold-hearted, unfeeling and immune, in fact it's just the opposite. 

My 18 children will be replaced by 18 new ones, but these teachers, my friends and colleagues can not be replaced. Sure, their rooms and positions will be filled by new people, but you just can't replace people you love and care about.
Will they still be my friends? Of course. We'll keep in touch, see each other for dinner or at an occasional professional development day, but it won't be the same. We laughed together, vented to each other, shared ideas, materials and the occasional cupcake and so much more. We are all different, yet so much the same. Passionate for what we do, teaching children.

We've spent the last two days together cleaning our spaces, being so busy that we haven't said least not yet, and  I'm not really sure that when the time comes I'll be able to do it with much composure. 

So I realize now, that I'm not cold-hearted or unfeeling, this year I didn't cry saying good-bye to my kids, because I'm saving my tears for my friends.

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