Wednesday, April 30, 2008

School of Hugs

I can't believe we have only one week left. This makes me so sad.

People tell us we're doing such a good thing, making such a sacrifice, but it honestly doesn't feel like that at all. It's been fun. Every single day has been amazing. There have been less-than-stellar times for sure, like when BG had fertilizer pellets sprayed at him with homemade pellet guns, or when surly teenagers make wise-ass comments at us in class, but I figure that's just karma coming around again for all of the jerk-faced things we (I) did in high school. (Let's face it, no way did BG ever do anything bad.)

Babies greet us with outstretched arms. Our classes chorus together, "Good MOR-ning, TEA-cher!" at the beginning of class and "THANK you TEA-cher! See you again to-MOR-row!" at the end. The kids at the Drop-In Centre come running when we show up. We've gotten hugs, and manicures, and back massages, and more hugs. Every day I get to make a baby laugh, inhale that sweet baby head smell, piggy-back a kid, laugh at ridiculous antics. They cluster around us when we give them a little treat, and press their hands together and nod their heads in thanks. They squeeze our hands when they leave class, sit on our laps during story time, rest their heads on our shoulders. At every moment they want to be near us. We spoon food into baby mouths, one after an other. We tickle baby tummies and feet, and dress an endless production line of infants after bath time. We rub away the bite marks, wipe runny noses, and play airplane. We've watched so many of them come to the baby room for the first time, terrified by the noise, the commotion, the people. We see them settle in until they're at home in a matter of days. We've seen them go from rolling to crawling to walking to running.

Every day we leave exhausted, but know that we only want to come back again the next day. This has been perhaps the best thing I have ever done in my life, and I'm sad beyond words that it's coming to an end.

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