Look at me, keeping you up to date. 🙂 Well, sort of… this happened a little over a week ago, but it is worth mentioning!
I went back to my school for the first time last week. Let me start out by saying that it was incredible. The school was putting on a play of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and it was really important for me to show support for these kiddos who worked so hard. I did not tell them I was coming because I didn’t want this to be about me. I didn’t want people to come for me, I wanted them to attend because these young actors have earned it. I did tell one of my sixth grade teachers and the play director so that they wouldn’t be caught completely off guard. My initial intentions were to just sneak in and watch so that I did not disturb the play. After some thought we decided that this would’ve been way too chaotic as people would see me and start to chatter 🙂 So as I came in I snuck backstage where the actors were getting ready so I could say hello. I didn’t want them to get distracted by me on stage! They all gathered together and I said that I was proud of them, I wouldn’t miss this for the world, and that they are very important to me. They were so quiet while I was in the room, and their eyes just lit up sparkles. As I left, I heard squeals of joy and the girls jumping on their cell phones to tell their moms that Ms. Owen was here. It made me smile, and it reminded me how much I really do love my job. After that I went to the gym foyer so that I could say hi to everyone coming in for the play. I thought if I sat down in the gym I may have gotten ambushed by the wonderful people in my community. So welcoming everyone as they came in, gave us a good opportunity to say hello and then they could grab their seats. It was so sweet to see the families, the kids, and everyone else in my little school community. At one point, a student came out to grab something from their mom and saw me. He turned his head, paused, and said “oh, hey, Ms. O”, and then left. It was so cute to see him feel like everything was just the same.
The real stars of the night were the kids. The play was beautiful, and they did a really superb job. We may have some Hollywood actors on our hands. Frank Love did a beautiful thing by dedicating the play to me. At the end of the show, the director came up on stage and said that she was glad I came, that I was an inspiration, and that I have shown great persistence and determination. All 500 people in the room gave me a standing ovation. Cheering loud, long, and with true enthusiasm. I cried. I was just so touched by how much everyone cared for me. It made me realize that each person in this room is cheering for me, and that they think of me, and that I am important to them. It was one of the most heartfelt things I’ve ever experienced in my life.
After the show, I got an opportunity to see just about everyone. 🙂 It was so nice to see my students from this year and I got to see some of my kiddos from last year.
They all looked handsome and beautiful. As kids from all ages came to greet me. They said things like, “I’m glad you’re feeling better”, “Ms. Owen how do you feel?” It was really wonderful to see kids trying to process this tragedy and my current state of being. They want to say the right thing. When they hear about people in the hospital they think about sickness, so understanding how this works is a challenge. Heck, I’m not sure I understand it all the way. But what really makes my heart melt is that each of these children look at me in the eyes and wish me well, and mean it with everything they have. Throughout all of this I consider myself lucky for what I have, and for what I see in the future for all of us. Compassion, generosity, hard work, and love.
I think the pictures in the music room are blurry enough to protect student privacy. If you feel otherwise, please email me ASAP at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have a photo of your child from the play that you would like me to add to this blog, please feel free to email me at email@example.com. I would love to share your kiddo’ s sweet face with permission.