Today they were excited to learn.
To have me back.
To be back in their routine.
They gave me hugs and pictures they drew while I was gone. They didn't stop smiling for the first 45 minutes. They also didn't stop asking questions and telling me stories. Reader's Workshop today was a waste...I think we all needed some time to re-connect. They comforted me in a way I didn't know I needed but in a way that was very natural to them. We're a family, with a culture all our own.
"If you ever leave for that long again, take me with you," said Iran.
I smiled. He didn't. He was serious.
Today they reminded me how much I loved my job.
I didn't even realize I had forgotten.
But I had.
I couldn't help but look at them and think of our September and October...when fights happened multiple times every day, when I cried at the end of every day and fought back tears as I stood in front of them because I felt so hopeless.
Today I stood in front of them and wanted to cry because I felt so...at home.