I remember the weeks before college graduation and how I would look around at people knowing it was the last time I would see them, eat with them, go to class with them, etc, and I found myself wanting to hold on to these seemingly everyday moments because the finality of everything somehow gave these routine things more importance.
I find the same thing happening with my kids. Today 5 of them were sorting papers on the rug. No fights or put downs or problems of any kind, but instead simple cooperation in a tiny spot doing what has become one of their favorite classroom tasks. I watched them, amazed at how they had grown, both physically and socially, until Chris said, "Stop, Ms. G. is waiting for us to listen."
"Actually Chris, I was just watching you guys and how great you were all working together," I said, and left, not realizing how long I had probably been standing there.
They all kind of looked at me like I had lost it, and I don't think they'll ever understand the depth of pride I have at times like silent reading when they're actually silent and reading, or during Social Studies when other classes are watching movies but my class is dying to read about the Revolutionary War.
They've come so far, and it's finally clicking that now is the time to stand back and enjoy it. Not push further or wonder what could have been, but take them for where they are, remember where they came from, and celebrate the incredible journey we've shared.