After 31 years of teaching, my mom turned in her yard duty whistle in exchange for a well deserved retirement. My step-dad invited her closest friends to join her in celebrating her devotion to children. The house was brimming with long time friends, parents of former students, family, and Elvis. You heard me: Elvis. Some random Elvis impersonator, at best an acquaintance of my mom’s, was mistakenly invited by another guest. (Social Skill Note: It’s only okay to invite people to a party if you are the actual person throwing the party.) Thankfully, Elvis did not sing.
As I coast into 70ish days of summer vacation, my mom steps into doing whatever she wants for the rest of her life. No more early morning yard duty. No more parent teacher conferences. No more lesson plans. No more staff meetings. No more worrying about budget cuts. No more calling me and talking about the funny/outrageous/heartwarming thing that happened in her classroom that day.
Sure, I can still call her and tell her about the goings on in my classroom, but I will miss the reciprocity. My mother dreamed of being a teacher since childhood and so did I. We have shared this beautiful profession my entire adult life and it’s a bittersweet feeling knowing that come August, only one of us will be sharpening pencils and writing out a new set of desk nametags. I now live in a world where I teach and my mother taught and it’s kind of a lonely place. Elvis has only just left the building and I already wish she’d come back.