Sometimes home is a feeling, a sense. A space.
The St. Mary's parking lot is bustling with first-day-of-school
excitement. Excited kids and parents gathering bags of supplies and
make their way eagerly into school.
As I walk into St. Mary's foyer holding a bag exploding of notepaper
and paper towels, I look down and see the sweet little ABC benches in
the entry way. These are ones which students originally painted years
ago. The same benches which the kids and I laid on their sides and
cleaned together during this summers cleaning day. Together the kids
scrubbed the legs with soapy water so excitedly and what a sense of
satisfaction we all felt after. On these ABC benches I have sat on many
times while waiting for Nora and Stuey to come out of class. Sometimes
with excitement, sadness, concern, love. The benches bring me to the
Ms. Schmitt, Ms. Huerta and Mr. Brian are in the lobby saying Hi,
guiding kids on where to go. Tears well up inside me. What is is wrong
with me, I momentarily wonder. My kids are in the 4th and 5th grade.
This is my 6th year with kids at St. Mary's.
One would think my crying phase would be long over. I follow behind
Nora and Stuey up the stairs to Miss. Schmitt's room where they
excitedly look for their desks and I am filled with awe.
This beautiful room before me; each table with lovely cursive name tag,
new posters of the world on the wall. I stand and soak it in. Trying to
not look like I'm about to cry.
There are new math learning activities along the window and a new
reading corner. Fun new classroom changes which I know my kids will
appreciate. This room where my kids have learned for so many years under
the guidance of Miss. Schmitt. She knows their strengths, their needs,
their quirks. She explains to the the kiddos where to put their things
guiding them to their desks and I am filled with overwhelming gratitude.
The tears start flowing.
Nora and Stuey are at home, I am at home. This is home.
This is the building, the energy, the people, the love which has
surrounded my kids from day 1. This is the routine, ritual, structure
which has supported them in growing as learners and even more
importantly as people. .
Here, on this Sixth year of going through this ritual, I am more attune than ever to the dedication this staff makes.
Because of them, we are here.
We are at home.