Sunday, November 14, 2010

Emotional Web

So on Friday night, I took my girls to the high school play. But I did not go to play at my new school. Instead, I drove the 30 minutes to Bethlehem to see Freedom's production of Charlotte's Web.

The show, as usual, was outstanding, thanks largely in part to the talents of my dear friend Jen, an exceptional English teacher but an even more exceptional theater goddess. Wonder Woman has nothing on her.

But the best part of the show, and the worst part as well, was seeing several of my squirrels perform on stage, two years since I had last seen them. They seemed to have sprouted into young adults overnight, no longer the much more shy freshmen and sophomores that I remember. They exuded confidence and bravado as they took the stage and the aisles.

I cried at the end, and not because the spider died. I cried for the slight feeling of guilt for leaving behind people for whom I cared greatly, my students and my colleagues. One of my former students, Robbie, lit up when he saw me, grabbing me for a tight hug and laughing hysterically when I asked him to sign my program. He said: "Oh, Ms. Reaman. You know you are one of the only teachers who has ever made me laugh constantly. You 'got' me. And I sure do miss you tremendously."

On the way home, a way that I no longer drive five days a week, I felt a sense of catharsis. I know that I was but a small influence on their lives as they carry on to new challenges and greater tasks. But I will always feel that this school will be a home away from home, not matter how much time passes.

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