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