I want you to know that I remember you.
I remember the way you walked into our kindergarten classroom, a big smile on your face, lighting up the room, as you took your first steps into the years of your life that would change and define you in ways you couldn’t yet imagine.
I remember you when you lost your first tooth. A gap in your grin. A treasure in the tooth necklace you wore with pride as you walked down the hall.
I remember you when you met your best friend — had your first fight. Lost your first pet.
I remember you when you graduated from kindergarten. Oh, the Places You’ll Go. And then, in a heartbeat, you were graduating 5th grade, practicing locker combinations, and rehearsing walking from class to class every hour. The royalty of the elementary years about to start all over.
Graduates, I remember you. (Photo courtesy of Amy Keyes)
I remember you when you were in those years of uncertainty. I was right there with you. Moving up to middle school, we all learned how to navigate this new chapter of life together. Filled with changing hormones, changing friendships, changing attitudes.
I remember you when your bestie moved, when you made the football team. When you didn’t.
I remember you when your parents got divorced, when your mom died. When it all was too much to bear that you thought you’d never get through.
But you did.
And I remember watching you go. Waving our last goodbyes as you walked out those middle school doors, all nervous about what was to come.
I remember you even when I didn’t see you much, when you were so busy with sports, and music, watching your siblings, working, driving, and college applications, and dreaming big for a life that you were inventing and reinventing.
I remember you when you came back to visit. To those hallways filled with memories of some of the best and some of the worst of times.
You beamed with pride as you shared your accomplishments, marveled at how I now have teenagers myself, bent down low to hug your old, 4’10 teacher who you tower over in ways that make you chuckle aloud.
I remember you. I see you now. In your cap and gown. Some of are graduating high school. Some of you graduating college.
All of you holding the most special place in my heart.
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