Friday, September 23, 2011

A Day of Lasts....

Today was the day.  My last day at work.


It was full of 'lasts'.

The last day I'll get good morning snuggles from those squirrel-y girls.  The last day I'll hold that little sweetie's hand when she gets on the bus.  The last day I'll put little ones down for their much-needed naps.

It wasn't nearly as emotional as I thought it would be.  It was just like any other Friday.

Until nap time.  As they all hugged & kissed me before I left, I knew that in their 4-year-old minds, they understood.

One little lady fell asleep before I could say goodbye.  I was so bummed.  I wanted so badly to give her one last hug.  So I woke her up....  :)

She put her arms around me - and I told her that she was a good girl, and that God loved her so much.   That's when I lost it.

Then it came time to take one special friend to the school bus.  I was dreading this - but I knew eventually it would come.  I hugged her, and she said "stay.  stay.  stay.  stay.  stay.  stay."....I reminded her that Carter needs his momma, and on the bus she went.  I'm sure she had forgotten about the entire exchange just moments after she got on the bus.  But I didn't forget.  I won't forget...for a very long time.

There's something about walking away from these kids that have taught me so much.  It's hard. I know there are beautiful things on the horizon.  But this 'job' has taught me so much.  Patience.  Unconditional love.  Kindness.  Respect.

There were also several parents today that had tears in their eyes as they said goodbye.  And I realized that they get it.  They get that we love their kids - we don't just teach them, or guide them - no, we love them.  And they're grateful that we love them...because they know that their kids need all the love they can get.  Unique relationships have been built...and I'm so grateful.

Right before I left, it was time to say goodbye to some special teachers...there were some tears, some 'I love yous', and lots of hugs....because after this long, there is a special, unique bond.  Some of them are not just co-workers, but friends that I get to spend the whole day with.

Just a few of the ladies I love......!

Miss Lauren...such a beautiful woman, inside & out...

Miss incredible teacher for over 30 years...

Walking down that long hall for the last time today, I couldn't help but think of one of the first times I ever walked it. My job there literally fell into my lap.  I was finishing my first semester of college.  Jake was away at college in the Twin Cities.  I was hopeful, young(er) :), and enthusiastic.   Little did I know that I wouldn't move on until almost 8 years later.  What a journey this has been.  What an adventure.   I never thought I'd be a preschool teacher for so long...or maybe I just doubted that I would survive seven+ years of 3 & 4 year olds :)  Everyone should spend 7 years of their lives with just wouldn't believe the things they taught me.

As one teacher put it - "You're ending this chapter, but starting a new one".  And I'm excited about taking what I've learned from the last chapter, and applying it to the new one.

Then,  I walked out of the building - telling myself this was the last time.  The last time I would check out, the last time I would walk out of those doors.  The last time I would walk to my car.  The last time.

And, in true Ashley Gibson form, I realized my keys were in my classroom.

Okay, so I guess that wasn't the last time.


I hopped in the car, and just needed a good cry.  So I turned on this song...because it gets me every time.  I know - it's a Christmas song, but somehow it fits this journey we're on.  Don't judge :)

And then, to liven things up before I pulled in the driveway, I belted out this song...ain't no mountain too high, baby.

Looking back, it's clear...this is the place God had for me.  He is so good in allowing me this amazing opportunity.  I'll be forever grateful for my time at this place.

And now, well - now it's time to move on.

One Thing I Know For Sure:  Teaching preschoolers is tough...tell your kid's teacher that you value her, are grateful for her sacrifice, and remind her that your kids love


  1. Beautiful Post Ashley!!!! Thank you!!!! I will absolutely let our preschool teachers know how much we value her!!!!

  2. You are so awesome. I love your blogs. They either make me laugh or cry. This one did both, especially when I read you left your keys in the classroom: classic! HAHA You are a wonderful mommy, and I just can't wait to see Carter in your arms. Think of the first class you taught... those kids are 10 now! Preschool teachers are priceless. Thank you for your service! :)


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