farewell.

We could not love our Knapp Forest teachers more.  They have nurtured and supported us through this long, crazy year with grace and love.  They have forgiven me my many forgetful blips, when assignments went unfinished and emails were ignored.  I stood yesterday while Grant ran through the tunnel of teachers with the other outgoing sixth graders, and then waved the busses goodbye with the staff, kids hanging out of windows until they disappeared into the hazy distance.  And then I sighed.  Because when Father called us out of a school we loved and into this new place four years ago, I wanted to kick my feet.  But we went and within months we fell hard.  For these people who welcomed us in, for a principal and his family who have become dear, for new friends that have joined my home team even though it’s been messy at times.  And now this safe nest has become too small for my boy and he’s off to bigger things and I ache for that. We love this place.

But despite that, the Smalls spent the day making catapults from paracord and flex pipe the plumber left behind.  They were covered in sand and muck by ten o’clock, dotted with bug bites and crossed with a smile.  They ate chicken wings on the front porch and didn’t even wash their hands before.  I took silent role as the door opening gave way to pitter patter of sandy feet to the drinking fountain and then back out, whispering thanks under my breath for this summer life.  There were trees cut down, but only for a bit until boredom gave birth to scraps of wood dragged out of the dumpster and nailed to trees and christened as Headquarters.  Towels disappeared, bug spray was reapplied, lemonade was guzzled, hoses were left on for hours.  There was bickering, there always is, but it was blessedly short and easily resolved.  I have vacuumed four times and it still looks a mess, floors littered with flip flops and pet rocks nestled in little baskets and wearing head bands.  The dishwasher has been run twice and I’m on my second load of laundry, stain spray on the counter, when it will likely remain until September. The kids were put to bed too late, hair still wet from showers and a pool party decided upon at the last minute.  No one brushed their teeth and I’m good with it because they all ate an apple before bed and that’s almost the same thing.
We love our school, adore our teachers.  We owe them so much: a million billion dollars and a kidney at least. But it’s summer and my kids have learned more, done more, gained more just by being in the woods, the basement, the creek.  All too soon we’ll be heading to the shoe store for school shoes, remembering Mumsy who used to love buying them.  I’ll be printing off the supply lists and exclaiming over how ridiculous it is to send a third grader with 120 sharpened number two pencils and knowing at least half of them will come back in June.  All too soon.  So we are sucking the marrow out of summer, starting now, on day 1.  Because we love our teachers, but these are the sweetest days around.  So thankful it’s summer.
This is me being real.  And committing to updating the blog with thoughts and pics from our trip, I promise.

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