Magical came to visit the classroom today. It was the first time the class had seen him since he left us in the beginning of December when he was diagnosed with cancer. Partner-in-crime has done an amazing job of sending the message to the class that he is still a big part of the class and they frequently ask about him and what to know how he is doing. We tried to prep them yesterday for the visit, warning them that he would look different and asking them to do what is so hard for any five year- keep their shock and thoughts about how he looks to themselves. We practiced saying the phrase, "looking good!" if we feel like we need to comment on how he has changed. Still. Partner-in-crime and I were a bit worried about how it would go. Magical was excited to come visit, but if anyone made him feel bad it might make him hesitant to come back to school in the fall.
We were at a meeting when he arrived so by the time we made it to the classroom he was already sitting in his old seat eating snack with the class like he belonged there. He was beaming with happiness as his friends bounced around him, asking him questions and showing off new additions to the classroom. He remembered all our rules and may have been the only one who froze with the quiet signal when he heard the bell. He went straight back to his old seat on the rug and giggled through singing silly songs and reading Gerald and Piggy books. It was so, so good to have him back, if only for an hour. We have been going to his house for about an hour a day for home-bound instruction. We have watched him have a long, hard winter. It was amazing to watch him happily interacting with friends again in age appropriate ways. No five year old should have to suffer like he has.
Of course, leave it to Pixie to give the defining moment of the visit. She popped over to him, touched his arm and looked in his eyes. "Magical," she said in her most serious voice, "you fight those bad germs. Fight them!" Magical just grinned. It's what he's been doing all along.