Yesterday, I checked out of my classroom for the year. I put away all my materials, removed my personal items (photos, books, etc.), and carted them...
To my car.
The outgoing counselor still occupies my future office, and my "replacement" (how I hate that word) has already come to make my old classroom hers. I'm without a home at school.
The rest of my life feels the same... The last two weeks have been obscenely busy, what with end of the year/season parties for soccer, kindergarten (Max), and graduations. But even beyond that, I've felt like a bit of a vagabond since Aimee's death. I've been reeling, readjusting, redefining what my life is, how it will be, what paths I will walk now...
Our principal is retiring. He's had a wonderful impact on school, and I'll miss him especially because his philosophy aligns with my own. From day one, he's been about relationships--you can be the biggest "content expert" on the planet, but fail as a teacher because you fail to make a connection with your students. On Wednesday, he said, "We aren't a factory taking in raw materials and producing a single product... We take in unique materials and produce unique products." How true.
He also went "singer-songwriter" and played/sang a tune with guitar accompaniment. As an ex-band teacher, he's done this before. Sometimes, the songs have been tongue-in-cheek about the budget, angry parents, and government regulations. This time, it was serious--the chorus repeating, "will they [the students] remember my name when they tell their children the story of their lives." He choked up a little when he sang, and I appreciate his honesty.
Those words hit me in the chest, the biggest grief landmine I've found in the last two weeks. I thought of my own kids and how I'd share stories about their mother, and I couldn't stop my own tears. I wouldn't want to.
Here's the nice thing about being a vagabond: when you're on the road, you notice things you wouldn't standing still. A lot of people talk about the "next chapter" of their lives. I don't see the chapter breaks, just a hiking trail with me wondering what lies beyond the next corner. My boots are laced, my bag packed, and a song circling my head.