Thursday, May 26, 2011

Cokes and Flowers

Just in case you haven't been keeping track, today was my last day of school.

There are no words that exist to explain the sheer excitement I feel.  Pure elation.

Of course, I was sad.  I was a bucket of tears as we were leaving the building (so thrilled there were video cameras freaking ev-er-y-where).

It is always sad to see a group of kiddos go. 

Especially these kiddos.

And, do you know what makes these kiddos so great?

Their families.

They have hearts of gold.

They know this year has been tough and I continue to get notes and emails and cards saying that they are continuing to pray for me and think about me.  Not many teachers have such supportive families.

In fact, they got me a little something for the end of the year.

The whole class. They all knew about it and kept it a secret (I guess there was a giant kick under a desk to get one of the kids to be quiet at one point).  But, amazing that I had NO CLUE!

And the gift? It's amazing and beautiful and perfect for my family and me.

But, do you know what else is more amazing besides getting a gift?

Them.  My students and parents.  Their hearts.

They are examples of unselfish and generous hearts.

I don't have their gift quite yet--I should have it by tomorrow night (eek!)

But, just trust me.

It is amazing. So thoughtful and perfect and amazing and...I am so excited to show you what it is. 
(I need another word besides amazing, btw).

When they presented it to me, the kids were huddled around me.  I tried really, really hard not to cry.  But, I just couldn't do it.  The cry was on the verge of turning into the very ugly, blubbering cry.  I tried thanking them but I just kept mumbling and blubbering.  

The kids just huddled around and hugged me.  I kept hearing one boy say, "It's okay, Mrs. Harder."

So sweet.  I pulled myself together, as I knew that in about 2 minutes I had to walk down the hallways in front of the entire school for the 4th grade "Clap-Up."  I know my eyes were red and puffy, and my tears were dry, but I am just crossing my fingers that the boogers were at least not visibly shmeared across my face.

I did the good-bye/picture/hugs/have-a-good-summer-thing with my kids and then went back to my classroom. I shut the door.  And I sobbed and I couldn't stop. And, it was the epitome of the ugly cry.  I haven't cried like that since Maggie died.  I thought I was doing better and then something so touching and thoughtful kicks you in the rear and you realize that you're not even close to being over this. I still miss my daughter like crazy.

I am so sad that I had to walk down the school hallway without her.

I am so sad that I now face making summer plans that don't include her.

I am so sad that I don't know how to answer people when they ask what my summer plans are.

I am so sad that she didn't get to meet my students and their amazing families.

She would have had some great babysitters who would have taken great care of her.

Can't wait to show you what I got!


So, here are a few sneak peeks of the spread I got on the last day of school.  I am going to be busy planting and drinking delicious Cokes this weekend, which is totally okay since I don't have to work for months! Mwah-ha-ha-ha.

The stash that I unloaded from the last day of school. My car smelled ridiculously delicious.

Beautiful roses and Cokes.  Those kids know what I love way too well!

Decorations for Maggie's grave and a pot of daisies.  Just wait till you see the pot! One of my students decorated it!  
And, another parent dropped off goodies to make dinner!  Fresh spinach (just picked from their garden), fresh fennel, toasted almonds, strawberries, and poppy seed dressing.  It was delish! And I didn't have to cook!  Yay!

I was so lazy, in fact, I ate it out of the mixing bowl.
Isn't that a GREAT idea?!?! Totally doing that for my kids' teachers.  Just need to start a gardening then.  

Can't wait for my delivery tomorrow night!

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