i couldn’t teach them, but i sure do love them.

Date February 23, 2009

You know those kinds of weeks that seem to blindside you?  The kind of weeks that overwhelm you and sit like an eighteen-wheeler on your shoulders?  The kind of weeks that you wonder if you’ll ever survive? 

I had one of those.  I didn’t write or sleep and I don’t recall breathing, although I suppose I did.

I’m on the other side of that wretched week now and honestly, I’m not sure how I got here, but I’m thankful that I did.  The view back is far more than rewarding and today it seems worth it all.

We finished the musical and I fell head over feet for highschool kids.  They were rockstars on the stage, workhorses behind the scenes, and absolutely charming in conversations.  It was three up-til-after-midnight days that were more full of wonder than tired. 

Wonder at how all those kids survive and all that they think about and all that they fear.  Wonder at the way a sixteen year old can bring a full house to their feet by belting out a cookie cutter Disney song.  Wonder at how hard they work and how insecure they are and the wonder of realizing that I used to be exactly where they are.

And although the time when I was there, sixteen and unaware, has long passed, I felt their uncertainity.  And maybe it’s because I’m a teacher and that’s what I’m supposed to do or maybe because I felt compelled to, I hugged them.  Every last one of them.  I hugged them with two arms and I thanked them for their hard work.  Some hugged back and some shed tears.  Some shrugged me off and walked timidly away. 

And one precious teenage boy kissed me on the cheek as Colombian children do and said, “Miss You, this was the best week of my school and I will miss you.”

I laughed at his honesty, hugged him fiercely, and yelled, “I have a name!” for the fifty second time.  Then, I kissed him back told him he could call me Miss You as long as he wanted and said,  “It was the best week of mine, too.”

I couldn’t possibly have meant it more.

3 Responses to “i couldn’t teach them, but i sure do love them.”

  1. Deanna said:

    I’m sure its something you’ll never forget! Have fun making more memories there in Colombia!

    P.S. What was the musical they did?

  2. Lou said:

    For some reason my heart is breaking too.

  3. sherry said:

    Ah, seeing them perform is always heart warming. I just saw several of my “old” second graders performing as seniors in Beauty and the Beast and another senior performing in Once Upon A Mattress I got goosebumps then melted into a gooey puddle admiring their talent. I probably hurt their ears in second grade because a singer I am not!!!