How lucky I am, to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard -A.A. Milne (Winnie the Pooh)
As we prepare to pack up our gym, and empty the space where incredible memories were made, I realize there are some things I'd like you to know...
I want you to know I don't need to dismantle brightly colored equipment or pack up toys and swings to remind me of my work. I don't need to write farewell emails, change our voicemail greeting, or give last stamps and last hugs in order to solidify my role as a My Gym teacher. I don't need to lose access to our online database, or cry in front of students and parents, to realize my whole heart has been here for a very long time. Bottom line, I don't need to lose this gym in order to know what a gift, pleasure, honor and privilege it has been to watch your children grow, because I've always known how rare and unique this work is.
Circle Time really is the best time. Each time I called your children to join me around the Big Red Circle, a little voice whispered to me, pay attention. Hold onto this. Remember. It urged me to listen, with my whole body, to the experiences of being a My Gym teacher. As my students practically fly full speed ahead to plop themselves in a spot that speaks loudly to them, the voice encouraged me to not go through the motions, but to fully absorb children saying their name, sometimes for the first time, mirror my movements and laugh unabashedly. This voice asked me to separate myself from what is irrelevant and unite with what's happening in real-time. It wanted me to acknowledge that every Circle Time could very well be my last and that it ought to be cherished. Circle Time speaks the universal language of connection. It knows there are voices to be heard, songs to be sung, questions to be asked and ideas to be shared. Circle Time solidifies my place in the world as a teacher, and assures me that I'm not the only one who knows how special it is.
To the children, parents, nannies, Grandmothers, Grandfathers, cousins, siblings, Aunts and Uncles who've come into my life, I thank you. I thank you for allowing me to connect with you and your family, for allowing me to witness first steps, first words and bursts of confidence. Thank you for your willingness to engage with me and for allowing me to be so easy with my love. Thank you for seeing my passion for My Gym and for allowing me to show how proud, moved and softened I often felt, seeing your children step out of their comfort zone and move through their wild and carefree lives.