I was inhaling my yogurt while simultaneously preparing for the next group of little people when I heard a vaguely familiar voice.
"Hi there my reading teacher," he said softly,poking his head into my room. "You used to be my reading teacher. Do you remember me?"
The boy was much taller, much leaner, more confident and self-assured; yet, the voice and the face were certainly familiar. I needed to move out of a "here-and-now-with-yogurt" mode into a "back-in-time-with-students" mode!
In a flash, I remembered that challenging year. Those mornings nestled on my floor cushions reviewing behavior contracts and talking about "good choices." I remembered afternoon yoga sessions and scavenger hunts - rewards for both of us for making it through the day! I smiled as I remembered the day I "hired" him to be a reading buddy for a younger student. I thought about advocating for supports he needed to be successful in school and in life.
"Yes," I said smiling. "How are you?"
"I'm doing great," he added confidently. "I'm in (^%$ grade now. I'm here for the band-demonstration-concert. I play the $*(%,," he added confidently. "I just wanted to stop by and see my reading teacher."
And in the wink-of-an-eye he was gone, smiling his trademark line, "See you later."
For me, however, happy-grateful-thankful thoughts of him lingered for days. He had certainly grown up over the past few years. I hoped he was really doing as good as it seemed he was doing.
So this week, while I am certainly "celebrating" and grateful for all the sacrifices of so many this Memorial Day weekend, I am also celebrating all those who make a difference in the lives of others by what they say and do every day.