If Only Maggie Could Talk...

 Maggie with her kids.

Maggie with her kids.

I was feeling a little sad as I walked into the classroom with my mom, Linda. When this class ended, my ten years of helping kids learn to read would come to an end. Oh! That wonderful classroom smell and the sounds of kids moving around – I love it! In the last few years my eyesight has gotten worse and worse and I rely more and more on my nose to navigate.

“HAPPY RETIREMENT!” the kids shouted when they saw me. They threw a retirement party for me – can you imagine? Over the blackboard, they’d strung a “Happy Retirement” banner and served both people and doggie snacks on “Happy Retirement” napkins. There was even a supply of lettuce – oh, I LOVE lettuce – for me. Someone had taken the time to look up my favorite snack in our book, Be Like Bud. How thoughtful and wonderful!

I have such heavenly memories, walking around on my hind legs while the children giggled and wagging to show them how much I loved them. My favorite memory, though, was resting my head in the lap of the kid reading. I learned a lot of great stories, too. I try to remember some of the best ones.

One more memory will always stay close to my heart. Last year, a fourth-grader came up to me, rubbed my head (after asking, of course), and told me that she had read to me in first grade. “I was shy and so scared to read out loud but I could do it with you in my lap.” Mom asked her if she was still scared. The girl smiled, stood up proudly and told me, “not a bit.”