... because if I thought you would, I'd never leave.
-Winnie the Pooh
Today was our last day with the kids, so we had to say goodbye. We had our end-of-semester-performance for the parents, then we took pictures and said goodbye. Then 4 of the students' moms took us (and their kids) out for lunch, which was fantastic. We went back home after that, and then we went to the school again one last time to say goodbye to the kids at 4 (we usually do that every Mon-Thurs, then take Fridays off, but today is the last Friday, so we wanted to spend some more time with the kids).
So, as a tribute to my awesome students, I have one last blog post in China about each of them. I've got pictures, but I'm not using my proxy anymore, so they'll have to wait until I get home.
William is our youngest and he is definitely a baby. He's 3 years old and his mom spoils him like no other. But he's generally a very sweet kid and he's made so much progress with the program. Not only is he getting better at speaking English, but his Chinese skills are improving, too. He was my least favorite of the kids when we first got here. And now, he's not my favorite by a long shot, but he's definitely grown in my eyes, and I love him.
Peter is the smartest 3 year old I know. He is very gifted with languages. He runs around like crazy all the time, shouts my name just so I'll shout his back, and he never without some drool or snot coming down his face. Unless his nose/ mouth has just been wiped. I mean this literally. He's pretty protective and has a short temper, but he's a sweetheart and really just thinks he's being helpful. I'm sure someday he'll learn better. I love him.
John is the funniest little baby gorilla. I love watching him eat his food-- baby gorilla like no other. He is so loving and sweet. He LOVES teacher Mandy. Half the time he's off in his own world and can't be brought back to earth for anything. But he's so sweet and just loves to run around and play. I will miss him so much. Mandy might be his favorite, and he might be hers, but if I could take home a couple kids, he'd be one. I love him.
Jack is Crazy! With a captial C. He's recently picked up the habit of tickling us in awkward and inappropriate places... haha. He's got a good heart, though. He's really smart and he's good at Kung Fu. When he's doing anything-- cutting paper, building with blocks, eating-- he's very concentrated. He seems like a puzzle person to me. If Ender's Game were to ever happen in real life (don't judge me for thinking about this... I know I'm weird), I think he could be one of the kids sent to battle school. I love him.
Wendy is such a funny girl! She loves to draw and dance (though she denies liking to dance), but what she really lives for is running around and being a crazy kid. She and April have had some fun times playing out on the playground after classes are over for the day. And it's hilarious to watch them. She's hilarious-- sometimes she repeats everything you say with surprising accuracy. Anna likes to take full advantage of that, and Wendy ended up singing Catdaddy. :) I love her. (Wendy I mean. Though I love Anna too, haha.)
Tony is awesome. He has the funniest laugh. We'll just be sitting there, talking, and something that he thinks is funny will happen and BAM. High pitched-make your ears bleed-screeching-laugh. But it only lasts for a second or two, and then he turns back into this calm, reserved little boy. Tony loves hardcore. He's so sweet, and he is always looking out for his little brother. He has such a big heart. I love him.
Lucy always wants to be center stage, haha. She doesn't actually speak English very well, which is sad, but she comes to school late, so she misses one of our English classes. She's very smart and I have no doubt that her speaking skills would improve drastically and very quickly if she could be in more of my classes (mine is the one she usually misses). She's really sweet, and in the past couple weeks she's been make it to about 10 minutes of my class, and I've loved every minute of having her there. I love her.
Max is special. He's such a simple boy, and he loves everyone. His favorite thing ever is Spongebob, and if he sees anything Spongebob-esque, he will not leave it alone. His other top interests that he talks about all the time are: baby chickens, his Chinese teacher-- Amy, and star charts. He's always hungry, and the two questions he asks about EVERYTHING-- "And Max eat it?" or "And put it in Max nose?" He has a strange thought process, but he's very pure. He's awesome and I love him.
Back at the beginning of the semester, Dave was my favorite student. My love for him has grown. Dave is genuinely smart (I suspect he'd be at Battle School, too. I also suspect he'd love Ender's Game). He grasps concepts well, he's very good at communicating, and he remembers his vocabulary. He is ALWAYS stylish. Dave is one of the best students I could have ever asked for. He's got the typical cool-kid personality that makes you want to talk to him, but he's good. He is very compassionate and is always the first to try to console the other kids if they are sad and crying. I love him.
Over the last four months, these kids stole pieces of my heart. We had to say goodbye to them today. And yesterday was out last day of teaching. That is easily the hardest thing I've had to do in China. I've used a squatter, I've eaten chicken feet, I even tried learning Kung Fu from someone who doesn't speak English... none of that compares to the past 48 hours. I have a headache from crying so much. I will miss these kids. My heart broke into 9 pieces when I had to say goodbye, and I wouldn't ever want to ask for those pieces back.
"People so seldom say I love you, and then it's either too late or love goes. So when I tell you I love you, it doesn't mean I know you'll never go. Only that I wish you didn't have to."