More of my kiddos are leaving. Sometimes they leave and I’m grateful for them and happy for them and wishing them well and telling them to call or write, but knowing that, come on, they’re 4, of course they won’t, but they feel better that I asked and I feel better knowing I expressed my pseudo-parent sentiment of wanting to know how their life is going. Then there are those times when I’m heartbroken, maybe a little selfishly, but sometimes because I really know that their life won’t be better for where it’s going, but instead they are going to have trouble upon trouble that otherwise maybe could’ve been worked through in that rough lifelong way that having good direction does. This is one of those rough times where I know the “happy ending,” probably won’t be so happy, but will be a tantrum-filled crash of digression, unlearning of principles, and a less nurturing remainder of one’s childhood. I can’t help but be sad about that.
I wish I was naive enough to think that I could remind a 6 year old one last time to use that nosy attitude of his to be nice and good to people when he knows they’re having a hard day, or to take his deep breaths when he wants to smash something or someone’s face in (and remind him even adults have to do that sometimes), or make him give me a hug when he’s being rotten or shutting down because I know it will make him smile and have him remember those things when he goes home to a home that isn’t even his, to an entirely different family life than he remembers from when he left over a year ago, and to people that don’t encourage his good attitudes and qualities, but instead inflate the self-destructive, discouraging ones.
But I have great memories with both of these kids and I intend on sending them off with their good memories of our time together. I taught one to read and the other to write his letters and his name. The eldest, one day when I was asking all the kids what they wanted to be when they grew up, said to me matter of factly, “But Ms. Charlei, you already are a farmer,” when I said, “When Ms. Charlei grows up she wants to be a farmer.”
He’s the only 6 year old I’ve met who pushes themselves so hard and gets so upset when they do any less than their best. Today was report card day and you’d think he had come home with straight D’s or F’s he was so incredibly dissapointed with his S’s. He’s pouting in the chair. I say, “What’s wrong?”
“I got, like, ALL S’s!!!,” he says, throwing himself back in the chair again.
“But S’s are good, I thought?”
He glares at me, looks down at his paper and says, “No! They’re only satisfactory!!”
Right. Satisfactory is not excellent. Not for this kid. I just hope it’s not to his ruin. I’m gonna miss that little punk and his oblivious brother.
Not taking a backseat to the children in any way, but being equally sad in an entirely different way, I’m so sad and happy to see Jessica and Greg Dillon head off to their greener pastures in the mountains of North Carolina. They’re leaving for Asheville so soon from now (days! just days!) and I’m going to miss them. But I understand the yearning for mountains and a winter time and fall colors. I love the Carolinas and I yearn for the fall. I am a fall baby after all and it is my time. The more time I spend in the dirt, the more I appreciate the turning of seasons and what it does for the earth. I’ll miss them, but I guess it just means I’m adding to my pen pal list. An old list that dwindled down a long time ago and is getting started up again. I should’ve stocked up on those Ray Charles stamps when the post office had them!