We have been on summer break for nearly three weeks now.
It's a welcomed break each year, but more so this year than any that I can remember. Our school had it's struggles but we made it through the year, and watched as the kids in our classrooms learned and grew as they became ready to move on to the next grade. I had a great class of kids, bright, funny and adorable and I always feel a little emotional as they walk out of room 134 for the last time.
It was a year of change for me. My oldest now home from his second year in college, my middle son graduated from high school, following his brother to college and my youngest moving on to middle school.
This one was especially bittersweet for me. He and I started kindergarten together, me as a teacher and he as a student in the room across the hall. I've seen him walk the halls each year from kindergarten to fifth grade, and on June 20th walk out the door of our school for the last time. As difficult as that was for me to watch, I couldn't be more proud of the big kid he's become. For any of my colleagues reading this, all of you who have had even a small part in that, I thank you. You truly are special to me.
Until now my little blog has gone untouched. Week after week has gone by without even a word. My classroom was a happy, busy and productive one, but I just wasn't feeling inspired to write about it. Perhaps it was the struggles of a difficult school year, or maybe I just needed a break.
Inspiration sometimes comes from the strangest of places and as I was sitting here on my porch listening to the birds chirping I decided it was time to do some writing.
A few weeks ago we noticed the birds in the yard were especially noisy. Not only noisy, but noisy at a very early hour of the day. I love the sounds of singing birds as much as the next person, but at 4:30 in the morning it is less than enjoyable! One day my oldest, not being able to stand the symphony any longer threw open his window to see what all the noise was about, and there right under the window was a nest of baby robins.
We became a little more sympathetic to the noise knowing it was just their way of letting the mommy and daddy robin know they needed to be fed. So we put up with the noise knowing it would end soon enough as those little birds found their wings and flew away.
One afternoon we noticed one had fallen out of the nest and was hopping around in the grass. The mom and dad were not happy, chirping loudly, encouraging him to fly. He made his way to the hedge and hid there, mom and dad flying in and out feeding him there on the ground until he was ready to take off on his own. That evening I returned home from grocery shopping and heard chirping like I had never heard before. Mr and Mrs Robin were very upset about something. Looking around I spotted it. A neighborhood cat, ready to make his move...not on my watch sister! I shooed it away and kept a close watch for it until I was sure she wasn't coming back.
The next day they were gone, a few adult robins hopping around the yard, and an empty nest.
I don't like watching my kids grow up, but I'm strangely okay with it at the same time. I know it's what's supposed to happen. Mikey will be turning 21 soon and I've noticed that he really is outgrowing us. He still needs us of course for moral support and we pay his bills! But he is old enough to make adult decisions, decisions that I may not always agree with, but it's about letting him learn for himself.
Daniel is heading off to college, I know I'll cry again like I did with the first one, but he's ready to go even if I'm not ready to let him.
And Patrick, my not so little one anymore is about to attend the big school on the hill. Not under my watchful eye anymore, but I think that's a good thing for both of us.
It's a bit like that baby robin in the hedge. Jumping out of the nest may not have been such a great idea, and his parents certainly let him know it, but eventually he learned what he needed to do to take off on his own.
So fly high boys...I will always be here to make noise and scare away the cats.