Anyway, of course I adore my grandpa too. Probably more than any other human being I've ever met. When I talk about him I cry because I am just so sad that not more people had the opportunity to experience his wisdom and kindness. But that's a whole 'nother blogpost. Anyway, he made a comment that hit me pretty hard, "It's not that bad getting old. I mean of course I wish my body worked like it used to, but most of the time I still feel like I did when I was 60."
We visited my grandparents on the way to the high school state basketball game. I knew that this game could possibly be their last and so even though it was 75 miles away on a school night, I knew I couldn't miss it. My team, although the season started a little rough, after the first round of the state tournament, were predicted to win it all. They had the talent to be state champions. They were on fire.
The game. It was perfect. The excitement and thrill of high school basketball. For me, there is nothing like it. I know it's probably me trying to relive my glory days of high school, but honestly part of me thinks this is even better. This group of kids I honestly feel like have become like my little brothers. And as Craig or Chad can attest, I am a pretty dang protective older sister.
The game was fun, we were ahead, we were celebrating, things were going perfect, and then of course the wheels came off. Jason had to pull me down a few times because I was stomping and screaming too much when the ref wouldn't call a foul. I curled up in a ball with too many tears as I realized they were going to lose. I watch those kids play their little hearts out.
But my favorite part of the whole night was when Jason turned to me and said, "You know, I'm not sure our kids can play high school sports. I'm don't think your heart will be able to take it!" I laughed. How true that statement probably is. He said, "For sure our grandkids can't. It'll kill ya for sure!"
But I'm sorry, everything I've written so far. That wasn't the purpose of this post. I almost want to select it all and delete it. The purpose of this post was yesterday 4th period I watched those boys walk into my classroom like they had 100 times before and I couldn't believe how much time had flown by. How my room has stayed a constant. How the kids I am dealing with are exactly the same, but time has change so much.
It was the most precious thing to me. Yesterday was their first day of "freedom". If you ever played a high school sport you'll understand. That sport consumes your existence. Your every waking moment is about it. And then all of the sudden it is done. It is gone. And you feel so empty. So yesterday was their first free day. And that is really hard especially when they weren't planning on it ending. They thought they would have 2 more games. They thought they would have a championship. But it ended. So they had no where to go. I had to smile when I watched them walk through my door, almost having to duck as they walked through the entrance.
It was crazy how they towered over my students, 6'5, 6'4, 6'6, and 6'1. It was fun to watch my students eyes get huge like they were seeing celebrities. One of my students said, "Wait, aren't you (insert the name of one of the best basketball players in the state)?????" Riley just humbly laughed.
I thought it was so sweet that coming to visit me was the first thing they all wanted to do. Of course I wanted to rehash every second of the game. (Of course I had already rehashed to Jason and then in my head all night long and then again with the teachers at lunch) but still I wanted to hear it from them. I wanted to hear WHAT THE HECK was the coach thinking? But I realized that was the last thing they needed. They needed to talk about other things. I am so ridiculously proud of these kids. One deferred his full ride basketball scholarship and already has his mission papers in just waiting for his call, one applied to BYU and is currently finishing his mission papers, and the other two are doing the same. It is crazy how much more mature I feel like they are than the seniors of my generation. These kids have their stuff together.
We pulled out a picture one of their moms took and gave to me at their freshmen championship basketball game exactly 3 years ago. It was shocking to see how different they looked. It was crazy how little they were. But what wasn't shocking one bit was when one said, "This feels like yesterday! I still feel like I am still a freshman."
It's crazy how fast time flies by. It's crazy to see these kids grow up. But what I need to focus on sometimes is my favorite thing one of them said, "I can't believe how terrible I was in jr high. I was such a jerk." It's really good for me to remember that. To remember these punk kids I'm dealing with all day every day will one day grow up and be decent human beings. And it helps me to sleep at night knowing that just maybe I helped along the way.
I write this down more for me than for anyone else. Because as soon as I am jazzed about being a teacher again, as soon as I am pumped that I feel like my students are mature enough to handle deeper concepts and real life changing lessons..... literally as soon as I finished writing this blog post class started and I walked over to see new freshly written bold letters on one of my brand new books, "PENIS". And as quickly as I was lifted up, I am smashed back down to reality.
And then I dream about a day so different from now.... a day when I can spend all my energy, effort, and emotion on my own kids. Sure they will be idiots too. Punks that don't get it. But at least then as time flies by and they mature and grow they won't leave and forget me. They'll be mine forever.