the ending of a year

Date June 20, 2008

It is afternoon.  The middle of a school day and my classroom is quiet.  There is no Spanglish chatter.  There are no shuffling feet or screeching chairs.  The floor is littered with shreds of colored paper and cookie crumbs.  My desk is full of notes, drawings and gifts left by children that seem older today.  Children that seem sweeter in their leaving.

I am alone and I let the silence wrap itself around me.  There is a feeling of accomplishment.  A sense of “I did it!”  A sadness in another year gone by. 

But this year was different from the others.  It was more mine, I suppose.  Before, I was surrounded by friends, family and teachers that I knew and adored.  I could run next door and yell for Mink to kill the creepy things on the walls.  I could find a cup of tea on my desk and know that my friend left it for me to warm up the morning.  I could wander the halls and stop by fifty doors and know the hearts of the people behind them. 

This year it was only me– a little girl trapped in a grown up world, living in a far off place, learning grown up things.  And I made it.  I lived the dream.  I saw it through.  The tears were minimal.  The experience was magical.  The year was mine.

In a few short minutes, I’ll push my chair away from my desk and clear away my things.  I’ll climb aboard the bus and fight the nausea as we ride through the mountains.  I’ll think about those twenty-four faces, their hugs, the sweet things they’ve said in the past ten months.  I’ll think about them growing and me growing and how the world is still bright before us.  I’ll be so very proud of how brave they are and how strong they are and how smart they are. 

And I’ll be proud of me, too.  For walking through corridors in a place that I didn’t know with people I’d never met.  For talking to parents unashamedly in broken Spanish.  For going when God said that I should.  I’ll be proud of me for stepping out on faith when all I felt was fear. 

4 Responses to “the ending of a year”

  1. Emily said:

    Congratulations on finishing the year! And yes, be proud of yourself. Teaching is scary enough, but going to a foreign country all by yourself to do it is terrifying. So awesome job! Enjoy your well-deserved break!

  2. Dani said:

    You are amazing Em! I’m so proud that you can pick up whenever God calls. Truly amazing!

    Love you and can’t wait to sing around the piano with you in a few weeks!

  3. Deanna said:

    Congratulations!!!! Enjoy your break…you deserve it. 🙂

  4. Lou said:

    I am proud of you as well. It has been wonderful to share in this year with you and I look so forward to seeing you and hearing more about your year. And I hope to see more pictures.

    Love Ya and see you soon,