Saturday, January 31, 2009

Sad Good-byes

Yesterday we had to say good-bye to Jack's two wonderful teachers - Amy (on the right) and Missy (on the left). Monday morning we move on to K3. I'm not usually one to tear up these days, I guess my brain has too many things going on to let that emotion filter in, but when I went to pick up Jack after school, the shimmery water appeared.

These two amazing women spent the past 6 months with Jack 5 days a week. They have been a part of the fabric of our lives during this amazing time for Jack - the 2's. It's a time when he's gone from speaking single words to spouting off sentences. From giving way to whatever emotion takes over him that second, to showing empathy for his friends, taking turns and sharing. When I ask him what he did that day at school I actually get answers, "play pegs", "play legos", "play animal game" or songs "Hello, How Are You!", "Little Bunny Fru Fru hoppin thru the forest..." with hand gestures and all. Because of them he can sing the entire Alphabet Song and can count to 20 without help. They are the reason that when I showed him the picture of the open hand on the block he said "Five!" instead of "Hand!" He's even gone from having a meltdown the second I start to move toward the door to leave and go to work, to waking up excited to see "Amy-teacher" and his "Missy".

Maybe it was because Amy is so utterly familiar with what raising a 2 year old is like, since her little boy Nate will turn 3 himself this spring, that the kid's obeyed her so well. Or maybe Missy being fresh out of school and her energetic spirit for what she feels is her life calling is what these toddlers picked up on and ran with in their never ending, latest and greatest achievements. Whatever it was, it worked.

Over this time, I listened and prayed as Amy shared her worries over her mother's breast cancer diagnosis and treatment which very nearly lead to her leaving Odyssey to move back home to be with her family. Thankfully, God saw to it to take care of her mother and allow for miraculous healing so Amy could stay here. I giggled with Missy as she shared the latest in her boyfriend dilemma, stay with the old or start with the new (we all think she made the right choice in moving ahead) and loved hearing how much she is enjoying this new relationship. And the two of them laughed as the latest craziness set in our household.

Each day I looked forward to picking up Jack and hearing the latest of what he'd done, things he'd said or goofy trick he's attempted. I'll never forget the day they tried putting him in time-out, and I stress the "tried" because as they found out, time-out for Jack gets you nowhere other than watching him stretch the limits of the punishment. And I felt a hint of motherly pride, which is totally unlike my personality, that Jack was the first in his class to say his ABC's all the way through without missing a letter, knowing it was probably the only time he'd pass up his buddies Madison and Payton in any milestone. :) And although we made a valiant attempt to capture a picture on this last day, my little man rarely cooperates when Mommy is there and it's time to go, especially when snack is MnM trail mix, as further evidenced by our attempt at a class picture at Halloween.

I know that we will experience many special teachers over the years of daycare and school, but I think for us, teachers like Amy and Missy as a pair are a rare combination. They enjoy our kids as much as we do and delight in seeing them grow and develop. Because of our unique situation of being in Birmingham without any immediate family, we feel blessed to have teachers like these two, that become a permanent part of our "Alabama family". I know we will still see Amy and her little man Nate many Sunday's at our church. And in less than a year I know Duke will find himself in their very same room, going through the same loving experience that Jack just finished.

Either way, until we get settled into our new room with new teachers and new experiences, for now, Monday just won't feel the same.

Thanks girls - the Rath's love you!!
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