On the last day of school in December, the children in my class came bearing gifts. Well, a couple of them did. There was a pair of slippers from J, which I wore all morning to his great delight. SA, who is the sweetest child ever placed on God’s green earth, was practically stuttering with delight when he presented to me a snow globe Nativity scene with a windup key on the bottom. “Look! Turn it! It plays music! And it snows!”
Those were the only parent-organized presents that I received. This school community isn’t exactly rolling in money, which is probably the understatement of the year, and honestly I would hate for the parents to spend money on a gift for me. Still, I did feel lucky and happy and rich all day on Friday.
Little JB wore a sparkly purple dress and tap shoes. Click clack click clack, all day long, and so pleased with herself, she was. It made me smile even though we were awfully noisy in the hallway. CT, a tough, manly little 6 year old who nonetheless wept hysterically almost every day for the first few weeks of school, made me a card that proclaimed, “Miss Sivrman is a nis techr and the bast techr and I like her as a frend.” IG, with whom I am often stern because MY GOD the chattering and the running backwards in the classroom, slipped his hand companionably into mine as we walked to lunch and said, “School is fun!” Colleagues handed out candy canes to students and hummed in the hallways and talked cheerfully about holiday plans. The principal, who is just so nice I could weep, sent out a sincere email to the staff thanking us for our hard work.
At the very end of the day, some of my students were finishing up decorating the little journals that I had given them. Others were cleaning cubbies and packing up. And funny, bad BL with the fat tummy and the propensity for winding up in the principal’s office rather more often than he should, began hugging his friends and crooning, “Happy Holidays! Happy Christmas! I will miss you!”
And soon all the first graders in the room were hugging each other. And then—I swear I am not making this up—they joined hands in a circle and started singing “Jingle Bells.”
And that just killed me dead. From now on, I will be obliged to communicate from the spirit world.