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Into his backpack went his cumulative work journal and his set of emergency clothes. We took his picture off the wall and put that into his backpack as well. I helped him put the backpack on.

He tried to give me his string of extra-large pop beads, his favorite toy at school. I told him he could keep them. He looked at me quizzically and went to put them in his cubby. “Wook!” He exclaimed pointing at the empty shelf. “Aww gone!”

I agreed with him but didn’t try to explain again. “Let’s go for a walk,” I said and held out my hand. His little brown fingers curled around mine. “Waag,” he said. “Go for waag.”

We left the classroom and walked across campus hand-in-hand. As usual he chattered away. Most of his discourse was bits of song. We got to the office and I reached for the door. “Obbus,” he said.

“Mom’s here,” I told him.

“Mob?” A smile lit his face.

Once inside his hand passed from mine to hers. I knelt in front of him and said good bye. Just like every afternoon before leaving, he gave me a hug.

I hugged him back — maybe just a little too long and a little too tight. He wiggled away.

“Bye,” he said. “See ‘ou tamarbo.” And he left me there with tears in my eyes.

Quilly is the pseudonym of Charlene L. Amsden, who lives on The Big Island in Hawaii. When she is not hanging out with Amoeba, she is likely teaching or sewing. Or she could be cooking, taking photographs, or even writing. But if she's not doing any of that, she's probably on Facebook or tinkering with her blog.


  1. Easy to get attached to little ones isn’t it……..I would have a hard time being a teacher, and getting new students every year and having to say goodby to them each year.

  2. OC — I don’t know where parents get the notion that they can just take their babies away without consulting me.

    Nea — perhaps because it is a known cycle, I have little trouble saying good-bye at the end of the year, but unexpected leaving in the middle breaks my heart.

    Melli — yeah.

  3. Well there you go again leaving me in a puddle of tears. I hate goodbyes
    🙁 and am not very good at composing myself each time I practice that repeat performance!

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