I forgot what it’s like to have a job that doesn’t end when the workday is over.
I forgot how it feels to spend my weekends and off hours writing lesson plans. (Grading papers hasn’t started yet.)
I forgot what it’s like to work with children at this age.
I forgot how hard the first month can be, as they learn about me and I learn about them.
I forgot how easily their attention wanders.
I forgot what it takes to keep them focused on academic subjects.
I forgot how fixated they can become on something new or different.
I forgot how difficult it is for them to sit still for long periods of time.
I forgot how a rumbling stomach makes it next-to-impossible to focus on work for the last ten minutes before lunch.
I forgot how often bodies that small need to use the bathroom.
I forgot how distracting a paper cut or a banged shin can be.
I forgot how much the word “stupid” can hurt.
I forgot how much the word “sorry” can mend.
I forgot the joy of recess.
I forgot the spark of curiosity.
I forgot how it feels to fan that spark into a flame.
I forgot how wonderful it is to watch the light bulb go off.
I forgot how great it is to have the kids run over to me in the morning, yelling, “Hi Mr. CJ!”
I forgot the hugs that take out your kneecaps.
I forgot laughing with the kids when I do something silly.
I forgot laughing when I’m alone, reading students’ worksheets and seeing their best guesses for spelling hard words.
I forgot the gap-tooth smiles.
I forgot the lows, but I also forgot the highs.
I remember now.