Family.

I stood in the office today seeing everyone line up to give their keys back. A sense of DejaVu hit me, as I remembered the familiar picture 10 months ago when we were crowding that same office, lining up so that we could open the doors to our classroom. Little did I know that I would leave a workplace with a complete feeling of belonging, a sadness that if I don’t come back here, I will be missing something great. 

I look back at this year, and I can’t put my finger on what was great, what stood out or what was simply amazing. There is no one thing that stands out to me. Truth is, the past 10 months have been truly exceptional. I am an only child who has been spoiled by her parents, with relations across the world in Singapore. This year, I had the privilege of being part something bigger – a feeling that I am unable to describe. I sit here trying to navigate my mind to search for the words that I am looking for, but can’t seem to pick just one. So the word “family” will have to do.

I don’t think its healthy to love a job as much as I do. It simply doesn’t seem right to enjoy your job this much, or to be able to laugh daily until you cry. And yet this is what the year has been like. This year has been filled with joy, rejoicing, praise, gratefulness, and laughter.  Granted it has also been a year of stubbornness, annoyance, frustration and anger. It hasn’t dawned on me yet that this year is over. Perhaps because I don’t want it to be.

I wonder when I will see these students again- when I will be asked to change the calendar, cover the time with a post-it, sing a Barney song, or escort a student to the ALE room. When I will dance and sway back and forth or have my hand tickled. When I will chase the student back into his room, or be greeted with a “good morning” even though its 2 o’clock in the afternoon. When my hand will be smelled after a high five, or when I have to wonder if those hands are clean. When she runs into my arms, not deliberately, but simply because she cannot stop. When he smiles and tilts his head, grinning, making me wonder what he is really thinking about. When she sticks her hands out because she wants to be massaged or when he looks at my spider man USB with envy. When she turns her head to the sound of my voice, or when I will be greeted with “Hi Ms. Goldy”. When permission is asked for a hug, or when a hand lying innocently by your side gets grasped with joy and laughter. When will I see these students who I care so dearly for? And that is when it hits me. 

I may not know what is coming in the following year. But I know that I have been incredibly blessed to have experienced this one. There was not one person today that I was glad to say goodbye to, speaking greatly of the incredible people that I work with. When the people you have known for 10 months know more about you than some that you have known for 10 years, I know that I can say with authority that I have been truly blessed and privileged to work here.

We sat in the cafeteria in a large circle scattered with maroon shirts, wedged sandals and summer dresses. Noses were sniffling and eyes were watering as people shared about what they were thankful for and appreciative of that year. Love is a powerful thing. I can say for certain that this place was full of it. Thank you for loving me. 

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