Volume 3, Number 34, June 11, 1998
Charlton Moves On, Conclusion
. . . It
was cool and cloudy on the last morning of the school year. The
children in Miss Joan’s class had just finished their party.
. . . “Children, it’s almost time for you to leave,” Miss Joan said. “I’m very proud of you all. You’ve been wonderful kindergarten students, but now you’re all first graders. That’s right, when I walk you to the bus this time, I’ll be walking with first grade students. Have a happy and safe summer vacation, girls and boys. I’ll miss every one of you.”
. . . The buzzer buzzed its “time to go home” buzz. Miss Joan nodded with a sad smile and her children lined up at the classroom door for the last time. As she walked to the door to lead them out, the children broke from the line. There were many hugs and good-byes and thank yous and tears.
. . . Charlton grasped Miss Joan’s hand and pushed his lowered head against her arm. Miss Joan whispered, “Charlton, wait here. I’m going to drive you home today.”
. . . Charlton looked surprised, but he walked to his seat without saying a word.
. . . When Miss Joan returned to the classroom, she walked over to Charlton. She knelt down, resting her arms on his desk. “I’ve been talking with your foster parents. I know that they’ve already told you that you’ll be moving to your new home today. If it’s alright with you, I’m going to help you move.”
. . . “I wish I could just go home with you,” Charlton replied.
. . . “I understand you never even asked them about your new home.”
. . . “It doesn’t really matter. I know they won’t keep me that long.”
. . . “Charlton, I know your new foster mother. She’s going to keep you as long as she can.”
. . . Charlton didn’t reply.
. . . “Do you know why I know so much about your new foster mother?” Miss Joan went on.
. . . “Because you called her to warn her about me?”
. . . “She didn’t need to be warned. She knows you very well. She’s been your teacher for a whole year.”
. . . Charlton jumped up from his seat and hugged Miss Joan. She smiled and said, “I couldn’t have told you too much sooner than now. I didn’t get the final permission from your social worker until just a few days ago.”
. . . Charlton turned away quickly so that Miss Joan wouldn’t see him wipe tears from his eyes. “I’ll get my stuff,” he said, as he ran to pick up the bag he had left by the door.
. . . Miss Joan joined Charlton at the door and reached for his extended hand. They walked down the hall and out the main door. The sun had come out and the day was pleasantly warm.
. . . Charlton looked up at Miss Joan. “Miss Joan, do you have a dog?”
. . . Miss Joan sighed. “No, Charlton, I don’t have a dog. But maybe we will have to get one.”
. . . They walked to a little blue sedan that was waiting at the far end of the parking lot. Miss Joan made sure her foster son was properly secured in the back seat, and then they rode off into the future.
Copyright 1998 RHL
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