Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Megan in 2nd Grade

I just came in from sitting outside on the back lawn with Drew while he was [secretly] eating a popsicle. Secretly, meaning I didn't want siblings and neighbors to see him eating it, because we don't have enough to share with the 8 or so kids out front.

Drew and I chatted about school, the fact he's excited for summer, and even more excited for first grade. He's most excited that first grade will mean, "I won't ever have to go to Dad's office in the morning when you have to go somewhere." (Tough life isn't it, occasionally spending an hour or two a week at an office with people who make you paper airplanes, give you treats, and let you harass them constantly with questions, statements, and suggestions.)

As Drew and I chatted about lunch in the school lunch room next year, he was confused for just a little bit about why Joshua wouldn't eat right after him, and I reminded him that next year, Joshua will be in 3rd grade, not 2nd anymore.

Which to make a long story short, made me think back to Ellie in 2nd grade, Luke in 2nd grade, and for a few seconds, I couldn't for the life of me remember who Megan had as a teacher in 2nd grade. Then I gasped, remembered, and became disappointed that I don't think anywhere in her personal history or mine, that we have the experience of her 2nd grade teacher recorded in detail.

It seemed only fitting to come inside and do it right now. After all, it was about this exact time of year, that one Friday evening,  I left 2 week old Joshua, and Luke and Ellie with our neighbor, and took Megan to the viewing of her 2nd grade teacher.

Yes. You read that right. It was a sad, sad day.

When the children returned to school in January 2007 after Christmas vacation, I happened to be there the morning, a principal and school counselor came in to Megan's 2nd grade classroom to tell the children that their "teacher was very sick" (cancer) and she would probably not be coming back to their class. It was sad. Second graders love their teachers.

Around the middle of April, Mrs Feil made it to the school to be in the class photo with them. The children were thrilled.
(Megan is middle row, middle child-purple striped shirt)

A week or so later, I remember sitting on the couch feeding newborn Joshua when the school called to tell me that Megan's teacher had passed away. They told me they wanted parents to know first, and parents to tell their children.

A few minutes later, Megan came home from school and I broke the news to her. It was sad. And hard.

But the viewing a few days later, proved to be even harder.

Megan and I arrived at the viewing as soon as it started. I didn't want her to have to wait in a long line. Megan bravely held my hand as we walked into the room, and we were greeted by her teacher's husband and two adult daughters. We introduced ourselves, I paid our condolences, and then Megan, in all of her 8 year old prowess, pulled out a folded piece of paper and handed it to Mr. Feil with an explanation, I have never forgotten. I remember it almost verbatim:

"Mrs Feil told me she knew I could reach more than 100 AR (reading) points by the end of the year. I think she would want to know, I have 105."

The last few words Megan spoke through tears, and then as she finished, she turned and buried her face into my tan linen skirt and sobbed.

Megan and I were two of the first guests at the viewing. When we first arrived, it was apparent that Mr Feil and his two daughters were well composed and dry-eyed. They had stayed that way until Megan began her little speech about her AR points.  While Megan continued to sob into my skirt, the three of us adults cried with her. Mr Feil reached down, hugged Megan and said, "I'm sure she is very proud."

I helped Megan say her final goodbye to her teacher, and we left.

It's a treasured memory, I'm glad I now have more permanently recorded.


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