"I'm going to miss you."
"I'm going to miss you too."
A few weeks ago we were sitting outside. It was too hot for the kids to be running around, and the teachers were seeking shade anywhere we could find it. The kids were filling up buckets with water, and with a paint brush, they'd paint the walls with water.
This one didn't really want to. He doesn't like getting wet. I watched him act like a scared little duck at the swimming pool the other day, hunching his shoulders and dipping one toe into the pool before running away.
So he sat next to me that hot day, and we talked.
"SURPRISE! I'm the mail man!" He said.
A few more minutes passed.
"SURPRISE! I'm Angry Birds! I mean wait! No! I'm--"
"You're Angry Birds?"
"No! I'm the mail man! I brought you Angry Birds!"
"Ah... I think you said you're Angry Birds."
"No I am not!"
"No I am not!"
He was quiet.
"Hahaha! You're Angry Birds!" I teased.
His eyebrows squished together and he said "Stop calling me Angry Birds..."
"What? You don't want to be Angry Birds?"
"No. Would you?"
"Because you get to fly around and knock pigs over all day. That sounds awesome to me!"
"It doesn't sound awesome to me, because then you die."
"No, you don't die."
"It looks like you die. I think you die."
"No, the Angry Birds don't die, they just disappear!"
This was a new concept to him. "What do you mean?"
"Think about it! If all the Angry Birds in the world died every time they hit the pigs, we'd run out of Angry Birds! They'd go extinct! Then we couldn't play the game anymore!"
"Oh! Do the pigs die?"
"Nope. They go into outer space. The birds too. That's why we can play Star Wars Angry Birds."
"So do you want to be an Angry Bird?"
"N-- I mean yes!"
This little one is going to be great some day. That's the best about working here, looking at the classroom busily making cakes out of plastic, twirling scarves, racing cars, building tracks for balls to roll down, playing Parcheesi. You look at them and realize how much potential is in one classroom. And you wonder some day if you'll turn on the TV and see that A became a basketball star, and D designed the coolest roller coaster, and Q was part of the team the discovered the cure for cancer, and C became a celebrity, and N became a senator. And you watch the TV and think that you helped make them that.
And so even though they move away... It's ok.
Because these little ones are going to change the world.