Another school year has ended. I've never had so many tears or such quiet kids before on the last day. One was crying because she is moving. Another because her boyfriend is moving. One was sad that she had a long boring summer ahead and wouldn't be able to see her friends very often because she lives so far out of town. Nobody wanted to chant "No more teachers, no more books".
I'll miss them all over the summer. The ones that don't move, I'll see again in the fall. But there are three that I will be fretting over all summer. Some kids have it tougher than others and school is their safety net.
I received a few end of the year gifts and I loved them all but two were extra special. One was a plant from the family garden potted in a decorated coffee can. She gave it to me with her biggest smile, the smile that reminds me how very much I miss her grandmother, who died way too young and never will know this beautiful little girl. The other was from a kindergartener, the granddaughter of another friend. She and her mother worked together to make me a little birdhouse that will also find a home in my garden. But it was the card that touched me. I've received many gifts over the years but never a note like this. Short and simple but it meant so much to me:
"Dear Mrs. Apple,
Libby really loves you. I was a bit nervous about Libby going on the bus at first, but you are a very good driver and that made me feel better. We hope you'll be her driver in the fall! Have a great summer and thanks so much!
Libby and her Mom