I’ve been a mix of emotions lately, and they seem to be just mixing more, getting bigger and more unclear. Some days I think things are all settled and I’m good. I’m at peace. She’s ready to move on, the teacher in me knows this. I see her on the playground leading games, and cracking sarcastic jokes – clearly she’s moving… er has already moved into the next plane of development. She’s barely small enough for the little chairs, and hunches over every day to wash her hands. I’m sure that little potty is really far down there too. The little circles are all checked in Montessori Workspace, she’s keeping tabs on everyone and everything, reminding me that we need to get more paper towels, and she noticed two friends fighting on the playground said, “I think maybe we need to have another Peace Flower lesson before we graduate.”
Graduate. That word hit me like a ton of bricks. She’s going to be a graduate. Just breathe that in for a moment. It means she won’t be part of our class anymore, and that I won’t be her teacher anymore. It means that her work, and mine (as her teacher) are done. The mother in me is having a hard time accepting that. I’m going to miss her smiles, and surprise hugs. I’m going to miss hearing her belly laugh from far away on the playground. I’m going to miss staring at her while she works, standing back in awe as she helps little ones like it’s in her genetic code. I’m going to miss racing her to the front door in the early mornings, and listening to her talk about her day, knowing most of what happened already because I was there too. But she is ready. My head knows this, just not my heart yet.
I remember I couldn’t wait for her to start school – she was a spirited toddler, with an unquenchable thirst to learn and I was thrilled that a team of some of the greatest teachers I know were going to punch her in the face with some Montessori. Not much has changed in four years – our teachers are still some of the greatest that I know, and she is still as spirited as ever. And that unquenchable thirst for knowledge? It’s still there too.
In three short days, she will walk over our bridge, and I will shake her hand and whisper congratulations. I’m sure there will be tears rolling down my eyes but hopefully they won’t show behind my sunglasses I’ll be wearing because I want her to know that while I feel sad for all the things I’m going to miss about her not being there, I’m extremely proud of her, and feel more lucky than ever to have had the honor of being her teacher. Ready or not, here she comes.