matt has been teaching at trinity christian academy for 6 years now. sigh... six. years. that is crazy!
thursday night was his 6th graduation. i have been at every one of them too. it's kind of a pseudo date night, but more importantly i love going because of the things that the kids say in their speeches. every year at least one of them has mentioned matt and the impact he has had on their lives. i love to hear these stories. i love seeing the way they hug him afterwards and tell him thank you. i love seeing past students and hearing their stories and how much matt helped them get through college. i love when the parents of these kids realize who my husband is and rave about him to me. i absolutely love seeing, and hearing and witnessing the difference matt is making. i feel a part of it too. before graduation actually started i ducked out to nurse my other date, penelope. over the 6 years there have been 3 graduations where babies or young toddlers have joined us on this night, and 2012 was one of those nights. she did a great job and sat, for the most part pretty quietly. she even fell asleep for a bit of it, and than the clapping and cheering started and her little eyes were wide with wonder.
this year was extra special. matt has had some students graduate over the years that we still keep in contact with, very special students that we have enjoyed getting to know as adults. it will be fun to go to their weddings and get announcements for their babies in the future. but this year, matt had a "daughter" graduate. a student who at the end of her freshman year almost dropped out. matt received a call from her mother asking for some help and help he did. not only did matt help her get through school but he also filled a bit of a father role in her life, one that she desperately needed.
these two are, to quote forrest, "peas and carrots". i know he was proud watching her walk across that stage, but there was a sadness there on his face, a soberness that comes when you know a time has passed and nothing but the unknown is before you. she is moving. with her mother to montana this summer. her mother is moving there to be closer to her parents and M is enrolled at the university of montana for the fall. this is one of the hard parts about teaching, they do eventually graduate and move on. they don't mean to move on, but it's natural and the busyness of life happens, and well, it is never the same.
she smiled big like this all night.
she deserved to smile. only smiles on a special night like this.
the tears can always come later. we will miss her.