Last Days

(August 20th & 21st – Daystar, Castle Park, dance party & graduation)

I love that as we posed for the above portraits at Castle Park, and I held you each to me, I could feel the beating of each of your hearts. So much magic in that sound and the rhythm of them against my hands.

It all started in May of 2004 with Autumn at nine months on my back.  I remember the moment I met all of you, the way you let your parents go, letting them know you were in a safe and magical place. The day I met Brigit, I wanted to take her and a few other kids to see the big yard and as we were walking out of the classroom, her parents started to come with us, Brigit turned around, put up her hand in a STOP motion and said, “No, you stay here.” And how on the last day of school, she asked me if I would dance with her as I held her in my arms. And “of course” I said, “of course.” And we did.

I have your birthdays etched in my memory, especially Jackson’s, which happens to be one day before mine and Isabel’s who’s baby sister’s due date was the same as her birthday and that Asher and Brigit Share September 9th.

I know your favorite activities, what makes your heart go pitter-pat and how passionate Justin is to figure numbers in every way possible, sitting for hours beside me as we strategize and find the fun in the math of it all.

I know the way you all learned to read, all differently, and the day at four-years-old, Jackson read the page I was holding open while reading aloud to the group.

I love the way spelling has come to be taught in our class and the day, after many days of working, Harriette’s “wood” became “would” for the correct meaning and the way we celebrated with each other.

I love Flynn’s persistent love for dance parties and how each and every day she would ask, “Michelle, do you have your iPod today?”

I can’t believe how lucky we have been to have Isabel share her baby sibling’s with us and how she showed us how to be so caring and compassionate to the young.

And Zavier, who has shown me repeatedly what true perseverance is as he always works and works so hard to learn more each day with such interest and joy in the final product.

And then there is Oliver and Georgia. What a crew this last years kindergarten group was, always helpful, cooperative and so interested and tackling any challenge. And the day I set them up with a game they knew and then I left the room for a moment and when I returned Oliver and Georgia were in a full on wrestling match, rolling across the room.

I won’t forget a single moment. You were my first crew at CSWS and five years later, you are so much my kids too.

I will love you forever and a day,

“There was a child went forth every day;
And the first object he look’d upon, that object he became;
And that object became part of him for the day,
or a certain part of the day, or for many years,
or stretching cycles of years.”
~Walt Whitman