The water swirls around my feet, pulsing from the jets in the tub. The chair I am on pounds in synchrony, massaging my back as I let out a sigh of contentment. The woman scrubbing my feet, sloughing off dead cells, works in silence. My phone dings, an aberration in the otherwise zen space I am in. I ignore it for a beat and then pick it up. A message from the children’s teacher asks if I have time for an impromptu meeting. I reply in the affirmative and try to go back to the zen mode I was in.
I am partially successful.
I drive to the school enjoying the free roads and the tech marvel that my new car is. Parking is surprisingly easy and I walk in. I nod at passing folk, address teachers by first names, share warm hugs and find a seat to wait for the person who emailed me.
The meeting is productive as the teacher, the school psychologist and I map out the path for the next academic year. We share notes on progress, areas to work on and additional assessments needed. I feel content and I am immensely grateful for this team of people who center my children’s needs in ways I cannot fathom.
Growing up the way I did, my experience with school and teachers is vastly different from what I see with my children. I walk to my twins’ classroom and run into their teachers from the earlier grades on my way. We chat, we hug and feel genuinely proud of how far my kids have come. I sense the warmth, the joy, the pride in their voices.
The school here is a cocoon, wrapping children tightly, nurturing them and guarding them until they are ready for the world outside. I imagine my children writhing, growing, absorbing, learning everything they need to burst out as wildly colorful butterflies. Some rupture and burst out sooner. Some like mine take longer, need additional care but they come out when it is their time. They are all gorgeous when they do.
The end of the school year is always time for reflection. This year it is poignant knowing the upcoming year will be their last at this school.