Friday, March 19, 2010

Walking In A Fog, But I'll Always Remember A Face...

Two days back to back this week I found myself at the Pediatrician's office. They were both long, draining visits. The kind of visits you just want to be over with. It's like a fog seems to settle into your mind, your legs and body move, but sometimes I wonder how present I really was. I told my husband who didn't have the honor of joining us at the Dr, that I wanted to lock him in the closet for two hours so he could feel what it's like. I have a mental image of all the wall decor of the room, what the view looks like from the office window, the small tattoos on the wrist of the nurse, the coloring of the horses off in the distance. There's a little plugin animated faux aquarium that sits on the counter next to the sink, it's never plugged in. I am always tempted to plug it in while we are sequestered to our checkup room, but I never do. I also want to peek in the cabinets, but I refrain.

After the second visit I ran out to do a few errands after J came home from work. I stopped by a local smoothie shop to pick one up for the girls. I'm not sure if I put makeup on that day, but I do know I had my brushing properly done (hair and teeth). I know I looked disheveled, but I thought who cares just a couple of stops and I'll be back home. As soon as I walked in the door I recognized the face of the young man behind the register. I glanced down at his name tag, I looked into his eyes as he placed my order. It took about 30 seconds before I realized I once knew this young man, but I knew him when he was a boy. Eight years have passed since I last saw *Johnny. His face was the same, he was taller and slimmer. I could tell he recognized me by his demeanor, he became very nervous all of a sudden. He was one of my fifth grade students years ago.

I didn't say hello to him. How lame of me.

Of course today I regret that. I was hoping I could say hello to him while waiting for my smoothie, but the place filled up. There was never a lull in the room so I could go back up and start up a conversation. Whenever I run into my former students they are always surprised by the fact that I remember them. When you spend a school year, day in and day out, with a group of kids it's hard to forget them. I think about so many of them often and a handful of them have found me on facebook. All of my former students were memorable in one way or another, I don't think it's possible to forget them.

Hopefully the universe will give me another chance to check in on *Johnny and see how life is treating him. Even better yet, maybe I won't look like some anxiety ridden wreck of a mother, but just be a glimpse of myself from eight years ago. I'll be sure to wear my smile next time.

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Yes, I switched up my former student's name to *Johnny for this post.

6 comments:

  1. I hope you get to go back and say hi! He was probably totally nervous... :) Hope your children are better. I know how draining those visits can be.

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  2. i've dodged former students many times out of my own insecurities. i wish i hadn't.

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  3. Sounds exactly like something I would do and then regret.

    And I always look in the cabinets.

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  4. It's hard to be in that position, wanting to reconnect yet not wanting to leave a weird impression.

    I'm hoping you get another shot :)

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  5. Isn't it funny how chance meetings can take us by surprise and throw us off balance. I think it's because, for me at least, I usually feel relatively anonymous as I wander about my days and running into someone like that startles me. Hope you get the chance to talk to him. I know I'd be secretly pleased if a teacher remembered me.

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  6. this makes me want to go find some of my teachers on facebook. i'd love to reconnect with some of the teachers that were so vital in my formative years now that i'm graduating college and getting a "real job." some teachers you just never forget!

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I always appreciate the gesture to stop and take a moment to comment. Thank you!