The school year is almost over. I am undeniably thankful for that. In many ways this has been a great year. In many other ways, this has been a very trying year. The tradition at my school is to have end-of-the-year class picnics. Today was the high school class picnic.
Aside from being vilified by a few select students, the day went off remarkably well. The weather was FANTASTIC! We couldn't have asked for a better day. The sun was shining and there was a nice breeze blowing.
The kids were also FANTASTIC! There really wasn't much complaining, except for the obligatory "I'm bored." There was enough (way more than enough) food and no major injuries.
I know that I have mentioned this before, but it bears repeating. I am very thankful for the students that I work with. Being in a private school helps, but honestly, I don't have the major issues that exist in some schools, especially in the county that I live in. They ARE teenagers; there is no getting around that, but they aren't deliberately nasty, usually.
The end-of-the-year picnic is always a little bittersweet for me. Don't get me wrong--I am so HAPPY that summer vacation is only a few, blessedly short, days away. I will enjoy having a break from the stress of the school year but I will miss these kids. I will miss listening to them talk to each other during the day. I will miss their smiles and their laughter. I will miss them standing at the window to my office making funny faces at me or waving at me. They will come back in the fall and they will have changed. Not a bad change, but a change. They will be more grown-up. Some of them won't return and I will be left to wonder what and how they are doing. Life is about change, but sometimes I wish it didn't have to happen quite so fast. To me, they are still my babies and I want to protect them. It's time for them to leave, and I know it, but somehow it leaves me feeling empty. Empty and almost wishing it was the end of the summer and not the beginning. Almost.