I went to visit Wendell today. Octavio, the new school counselor, wanted to meet to discuss what needs to be done. I gave him some ideas and I think he'll be good for the schools. I also went because I miss my kids and wanted to spend some time with them.
After having breakfast with my friend Dan, I headed to the middle school, getting there about 7:20. There were already a few students there, and some teachers. I got hugs as soon as I walked in. Maryanne, Gramma, and Sue were all in the office (they're all teachers). It was so good to see them.
By 7:30 I was in my circle, waiting to greet the kids. The smile on my face had been there ever since I drove off the freeway at the Wendell exit. When the first kids started coming in, my smile got even bigger. Some of the kids ran to me. I got hugs from most of them, even from some kids who don't normally hug. I even got hugged by some of the 8th grade boys.
If I thought being with the middle school kids was great, being at the elementary school was even more of an emotional ego boost. As I was walking toward the lunch room, the first graders hadn't been let out for recess yet. The person who normally does duty on the first grade playground wasn't there. So I offered to take the kids out to recess. All I had to do was walk across the cafeteria to where all the kids were sitting and take them out. It didn't work that way.
I didn't even make it into the actual cafeteria. Before I could get there I was literally surrounded by 30 kids. Once the first kid noticed me, and yelled, "Mr. M!" all the other kids started leaving their tables and running to me. It took me 10 minutes to get across the cafeteria and I loved every single second of it. In those few minutes, I probably received 200 hugs.
When I did finally make it to recess, I had still more fun. Kids would come running from across the playground, "Mr. M, Mr. M, Mr. M." Some kids stayed close to me the whole time. I told every kid I could how much I missed them.
After recess I went to Mrs. Brown's class for a visit. It was so much fun. She had me sit down for an interview; the kids got to ask questions. The first kid I called on gave me the best "question" ever: "Mr. M, I love you every day."
It was a bittersweet visit. I loved being back in my schools. I hated knowing that I will never be back, for real.