Addie at age 3 decked out in her best princess attire.
Addie at age 4 making the shirt her dad wore with pride for so many years.
Addie at age 5 learning to ride her bike.
Addie at age 6 with a baseball cap on her head, glove in her hand, and gap-toothed smile across her face.
Addie at age 8 riding her scooter around the block.
Fueled by video tape footage, pictures in an album, or something as simple as a pair of Tripp's outgrown pajama bottoms, I travel back to a time when our days were filled with Dora the Explorer and nights were spent enjoying each other's company and popsicles on the front steps.
Lately, I've found my mind settling back into my old classroom in Gretna with a 7-year-old Addie by my side.
One of the perks of being a teacher was the fact that the buses would transport all the teachers' kids from their schools to ours after school. So there she'd sit, eating a snack, thumbing through her backpack, while kids who were there on their own accord (and those who were not) worked on their assignments.
She'd doodle on the board, sigh a few times, and eventually ask, "When are we going home?"
Ten more minutes, I'd say. And when those 10 minutes were up, it'd be 10 more.
And when it was finally time to go, we'd lock my classroom door, head toward the car, and more often than not, end with a conversation that went something like this:
"Mom, when I'm in high school, I hope I have your class last."
"That way I can walk home with you."
I know what you're thinking (it's probably what I and the scores of other people I've shared this particular story with were thinking too).
We all agreed that 7-year-old Addie's sentiment might change when she's, oh, 17.
What I wouldn't give to have 17-year-old Addie.
Even when I switched jobs three years ago and took an assignment at an elementary school, she always wondered why I couldn't teach at her school.
Now I can.
I recently accepted a position teaching at Addie's School (that's how the boys refer to it when we drive by each day). And as with everything these days, accepting that position was bittersweet.
Sweet because that's what she always wanted.
Bitter because she's not there.
|Addie, me, and my first teaching certificate.|