An excerpt from Zoë Woodbridge’s thesis:
4:50 – that magic number.
Each day we hear the page echo through both buildings telling us it’s time to go. We grab our lunches, backpacks, art projects or instruments, pack them in our cars and drive back home only to return the next day. I’ll miss the drive, to be honest. There’s nothing quite like rolling through the shade of trees on Queen Anne and pulling up to Amy on her little pink bike, little boys playing four square, then turning off the car no longer hearing Fugazi or Mewithoutyou or whichever CD Eli’s blasting that day, then putting the Camry in park and walking up the stone path into school. I think maybe I’ll miss that the most: that first look up at the porch while you hear Heart and Soul being played in the Chesapeake Room sunlight, that first breath we take before starting the day. Or maybe Zoe and Livvie running up to me “Zoë! Zoë!,” then wrapping their tiny arms around my legs, the other little kids yelling hi as they run off to Capture-the-Flag or kickball, just the general smiles in the morning saying “We’re so glad to see you.”
And then there’s the talk and the laughter rolling through the hallways all about Jimmy’s Halloween costume or Billy’s JC excuses. I’ll miss that, too. But maybe the one thing that I’ll really have to work on living without is that head turn I do each day while walking back to the Camry. I’ve signed out and gathered my poems, then I turn my head full of brownish hair and look back at the Old Building porch, the New Building, at this school that’s been built on so much more than dirt and rock. I take it all in one last time before heading home. A big part of me hurts when I think, when I know that Friday will be the last time I do all of these things in this particular order I have. I know that of all the places I’ve ever left Fairhaven will be the hardest to leave. But do we really ever leave? We all come back, either when leaves change or on this day, to our foundation to this place that beckons us like a home, this place we sometimes need to be. I’ll cry. I know I’ll cry. And I know that of all the places I’ve ever missed, somehow, I’ll miss this one the most.