This weekend while running errands I ran into one of my former students at Home Depot. It had been years since I'd been his special education case manager, but he gave me a huge smile and was clearly excited to see me. As we walked away from him my husband asked, "Is that the Johnny* H. from your second year teaching?"
"No," I laughed, "Johnny H. is in high school now. That Johnny is from 5 years ago."
My husband looked at me in utter horror and confusion. I could see what he was thinking as he tried to hide it- there is no way that cute little 6 year old Johnny that filled our lives with stories is now in high school.
Whenever I am running errands in the neighborhood where I teach I find myself looking oddly at tweens and teenagers, wondering if they are the grown up version of the six year old person I taught. It's always a bit unsettling. The other day I drove past My Smart Cookie. I almost didn't recognize her, until I realized there was only one person who it could be. She was laughing with friends, her hair wild and unbrushed, but she looked happy.
*Name has been changed :)