I’m afraid we have failed. My kindergartners and I had attempted to scare mean old June away. But my computer screen this morning betrays us. Like it does every year, the 31 lost its 3 overnight (or rather, as I often remind my kids, its three tens). June was rudely dropped at my doorstep.
Oh yeah, I don’t have one. A door, that is.
And that is one reason June is unwelcome. Since Sandy, the door I have entered gratefully each day was situated at the beginning of the workday, in Bellmore—not at the end of the workday, in Long Beach.
Each new weekday morning in Room 13 I pull up the blinds to the ceiling, revealing three rectangles on the world. This year, it is only through these windows that I have been able to watch every season unfurl, each a familiar flower I have touched and breathed before. Never have I been more thankful—after a winter of dirty grays and browns here by the beach—for spring’s fresh spread of pinks and yellows and greens.
At 9:00 each morning my kids splash themselves across this peaceful palette. Their bright laughter proves the perfect accompaniment to the primary colors of Legos and Pattern Blocks. I love this. I love them. I love them.
They know it. For months I have not been able to speak to them of June. I am supposed to. Months are part of the curriculum. Summer is exciting. I should count down to Field Day. I have tried, and I’ve cried.
This class definitely filled a hole left by a hurricane. But they had happied my heart long before October 29.
When this class walks out on June 21, I will suffer one of my greatest losses in the year of Sandy (none of which had anything to do with the storm). Clearly, the leveling of a house is cake compared to the loss of a human. And I am going to be forced to say good-bye to the 19 humans who applied six hours of joyous paint to some of my grayest days.
My memories of the year will be striped with their colors. When I relive the trauma and recount the trials, you might see my eyes smile. You will know I am seeing that bubbling stream of 5- and 6-year olds bursting through the only door that counted.