i hug those 20 learners one-by-one through blurry, wet eyes.
and in that five-second hug, i'm able to relive my year with each one.
he hated reading when he entered my class and now he can't put a book down.
her parents divorced this year and she made it. it was hard. but she made it.
he was hospitalized three times because of that dumb cystic fibrosis, but amazingly, each time he came out stronger and smiley-er.
she finally tried the country style steak. hated every bite of it. but tried it.
she walked into school all by herself. like a first grader. and she smiled while she did it.
her dad was in iraq all year long. that'll produce a lot of writing when you learn to write from your heart.
he came to me thinking school was about people telling you what to do, what to think, what to say, what to write, and what to read. he now knows the truth.
yesterday was the 180th day.
not for me.
but for a lot of people.
i miss my 180-day life. i miss those hugs. those learners. those families.
and now, as i look at the three precious reasons i'm not giving those 180th day hugs, i'm reminded that i'm where i want to be.
and that one day, when the time is right, i'm going to go back.
but for now, i'm here.
and that's ok with me.