Runners take your mark.....

I watched the sea of faces working diligently and painfully as they took the SAT last Saturday. I felt honestly like I was right smack in the middle of the Breakfast Club.  I was sitting in front of 24 high school students, one of 25 proctors in the building that morning.  The group assigned to me, last names K-L, held some coincidental and amazing surprises.

I immediately recognized Julia, the adorable but challenging girl who played her violin for Show and Tell the first year I taught kindergarten.  I had an inkling she was on the spectrum that year, but later realized her idiosyncrasies were homemade.  This morning she was wearing winter gloves with the fingers cut out, a colorful headband and what appeared to be masculine looking black eyeglasses.

Beside her sat the incredibly handsome son of a woman I worked with for many years.  I watched his mother collapse in the hallway beside my classroom one afternoon not long before she was diagnosed with a brain tumor.  She recovered fully from that only to lose her best friend and husband of 20 some years to a massive heart attack two years ago. This quite handsome young man spoke to his fellow test-takers with ease, a quick smile and contagious laughter. I call tell you from experience that this young man’s heart will never, ever truly heal.

At the opposite end of the room sat another young lady – an absolutely gorgeous girl that was in the kindergarten classroom next to mine the year after Julia’s violin performance. Her sister was one of Sassy’s best friends in middle school, and I greeted this darling girl each morning with, “Hello Miss Carmichael” as she walked down the hallway past my classroom.  I know some of the painful challenges her family has weathered over the years, and hoped that these burdens weren’t distracting her from her task as hand.

There were other familiar faces dotting the room – the jock, the beauty queen, the obviously brilliant (and future bazillionaire) geek, the Russian boy, the lacrosse player and those skating by wearing invisibility cloaks.  They worked furiously filling in bubbles - bubbles that would determine if they were going far away from these musty high school walls to college, or if they were going to attend a university right in their own backyard.

They’re all at the starting line, poised for the race of their life.  

I just pray that they’re all equipped with the right shoes. 


A Speckled Trout said...

I have missed you.

Gigi said...

I loved this!

Double knee surgery?! Yikes. Sending prayers and love.

Lorraine said...

Omigosh! Surgery, yikes! I hope all goes well for you and you have little pain and a speedy recovery. Both at the same time, huh - takes guts, but you have it in you. Where can I send you more good wishes?

notme said...

Wonderful to see you in my inbox today!

Great post! As elementary teachers we always wonder where our students' paths will take them...

Sounds like you have a lot going on. Please keep us posted on your recuperation from surgery. And on the book! I had no idea it was done :) (Where have I been?) Can't wait to read it. Congrats on the divorce nearly being done, as well.

Sounds like you've been a BUSY, BUSY lady. Don't sweat the small or big stuff as you recuperate. Let others do for you....call your KIDS if needed. You're still the mom; thus, you're still the boss.

Good luck & God bless.

Mocadeaux said...

You have really captured the promise of these young lives, ready to take on the world supported by and in some cases in spite of their families.
I'll be sending good vibes your way as you recover from your surgery. Looking forward to stories of you taking your new knees for a spin on the dance floor as you celebrate the divorce being over - finally!

slow panic said...

always a blessing to read your posts. thank you!

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