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Nodding off in class

I taught 2nd grade today.  The day went pretty smoothly...although I did get a few stares as I ate my quinoa avocado 'tacos' in the teacher's lounge--see yesterday's post for pics. 

One of my students fought all day to keep his eyes open. 
It wasn't because he was up late playing video games. 
It wasn't because he was up late watching tv.  
It was because he woke up in the middle of the night to Skype with his dad who is in Afghanistan.
It really is such a special experience to teach the children of the women and men who protect our nation's freedom.  I love hearing their reunion stories and seeing the excitement on their faces as they giddily tell me about how great it is to have mom/dad back at home.  My heart breaks every time I see their faces fall as they talk about how long mommy/daddy has been away fighting.  Their stories always make me tear up and think of when I nervously/excitedly waited for Ben to walk through the security gates in the airport in Okinawa after spending 6 months in Iraq.  I remember I was crying well before I could even see him, and I was the only American waiting (he did not come in on a military flight).  So basically I was this random American (my height didn't help my case--made me stand out like a sore thumb) standing alone crying in the airport while many of the Japanese people waiting around me stared curiously and sympathetically.  I remember thinking how weird it was that I was getting so emotional while waiting, but for some reason I just couldn't stop the tears of happiness.  More than happiness, though, the feeling that hit me hard, deep down in my gut, was relief.  Relief that I no longer had to worry.  I no longer had to be scared to log onto or watch the news.  I didn't have to feel the panic anymore that set in after hearing about an attack in Baghdad and realizing I hadn't heard from Ben.  There weren't any more chances that something could go wrong.  He was home.  Safe.

December 2010--reunion in Naha, Okinawa airport

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