This afternoon I was lying on the couch with my feet up, half watching The Waltons, and nearly asleep when the doorbell rang. Nikki jumped up, and barking a welcome, galloped into the table holding my glass of iced tea, which spilled to the floor! I left it, struggled up with my cane, hollering, "Just a minute!" as I hobbled to the front door, also admonishing Nikki to "Hush!"
Of course, by the time I reached the door, there was no one there, no car in the driveway, but I caught a glimpse of a kid running across the front yard through the trees. I yelled, "Please don't do that!"
The boy stopped and called back, "Mrs. Babbitt!" and ran back across the lawn toward me. I then saw the big smile and blond hair of one of my students from last year, and I hurried as best as I could to meet him and give him a hug hello. This was a boy I worked so hard with, not just academically, but on "socially appropriate behavior" and just trying to show him I cared about him as a person. He had some pretty significant challenges in his brief 10 years, was without a mom and reminded me so much of my son when he was this age, constantly in trouble, but smiling his way out of it on a daily basis. Needless to say, I was very happy to see him!
Then, two boys on bikes, and a younger boy walking, came back toward the house and I recognized the bike riders as also from my class last year, and the little guy was the baby brother of a couple other students I had several years ago. One of the bike riders said, "I knew you lived in one of these houses, but I wasn't sure which house." (Kailyn had my van today, or that would have been a tell-tale clue in the driveway!) So, they were heading for the next door neighbor to ring their bell when I hollered out the door. Luckily, they guessed correctly on the first one they tried!
I let Nikki out to greet them all, and we proceeded to have such a wonderful conversation about what they had been doing so far this summer. I learned about the vacations they'd taken, and the books they had read. After awhile, I realized they were in no hurry to leave, and I was getting tired of leaning on my cane, so I asked if they'd like a popsicle, which of course they did. I gratefully went into the house to get their treats, my water bottle, and my walker with the seat so I could sit while chatting!
While the boys sat on the lawn eating their popsicles, I sat on my rolling seat, with a big smile on my face, thoroughly enjoying their company. We talked a little longer, and I discovered that the boy who rang the doorbell had just arrived back home this morning at 6 AM from Arizona, where he had been since school was out. I was touched that he made a point of coming by to visit today, as he is one I have hoped to keep connected with. Before they left for home I thanked them all for stopping by and told them they made my day!
I was so glad that I got up, instead of ignoring the doorbell, as would have been easy to do (it was my rest period on the couch!) It was so thrilling that the boys felt comfortable trying to find my house, and that they knew I'd be happy to see them. These boys, for varied reasons, were students who made me love my career. Today, I loved being brought into their boyish presence. They truly made my day!