On Wednesday morning, I sat in my first in person PD session in over a year. We toggled between real life and presenters still on Zoom. It was weird. I took a break and snuck a look at my email. I had a message from one of my first grade distance learners, Hollis, who had gone back to school a few weeks ago. “Ms. Carey, Do you like flowers?” the message read.
I took another minute away from the professional development session, a smile plastered under my mask, as I wrote a response. I told Hollis about my favorite plants and my the plants I’ve been watching come to life in my yard. I asked her about her favorite flowers.
That afternoon, before leaving for work, another email caught my eye. It was from Hollis’ mom. Hollis had picked out a gift for me. She’d been waiting for teacher appreciation week. Could they come to my house to drop it off?
With another smile on my face, I wrote a response. I gave my address and phone number. I said, “Please call or text when you plan to come by. I’d love to see you!”
As I drove home, I called my sister to catch up. As I neared home, a call from an unknown number interrupted my chat. I dismissed it as a solicitor. It wasn’t until I pulled onto our street and saw an unfamiliar minivan in our driveway that I connected the unknown number to Hollis and her mom. As my phone rang again, I answered and talked to Hollis’ mom as I greeted her at her car door.
We laughed as she got out and opened the sliding door to reveal Hollis. I had to fight back the urge to hug her, instead I offered her a fist bump. We snapped a photo in the misty rain that had started to fall and chatted about first grade before Hollis and her mom retreated back to their dry car.
I stood in my driveway with my new beauty of a plant, waving goodbye…another cheesy grin plastered across my face.