My dad, he retired this fall. He’s literally been able to tell us the number of days until his retirement for years and years now. I’m not sure that’s a good thing, but regardless, he made it.
He worked as a teacher in corrections. More specifically, with youth in a detention facility. I remember going in to where my dad worked a million years ago when I was a little kid, but a long time ago they put a fence up (probably smart, I guess) and we weren’t allowed to go visit anymore. But we DID get to go in for Dad’s retirement tea a few weeks ago. It was a little freaky being on the other side of the fence actually. I wasn’t worried for my safety or anything, it was just freaky, that’s all.
Anyway, the tea- it was for honoring my dad and a few others for their long years of employment. It was nice to meet some of the people we’ve been hearing about for years. And it was really nice to take part in one of the feasts we’ve been hearing about for years, too. Most teas I’ve been to are some lame little sandwiches and a carafe of coffee, but at my dad’s tea there was seriously enough chicken to feed a small army. Chicken fingers, chicken wings, you name it. It was pretty awesome. Also, nanaimo bars. And something else that I can’t remember anything about except that I had three pieces.
My dad probably wasn’t thinking I would write that much about the food when he imagined my post about his retirement. He was probably thinking I would write more about his career or something like that.
Like I said, I remember hearing my dad counting down the days till he could stop working A LOT. I remember hearing him count down to one of his many stretches of holidays A LOT. I don’t think working there was his favorite thing in the world (but maybe I’m wrong?). Anyway, regardless of whether or not he enjoyed it that much, he still always did his best and gave his best to the kids there. I loved hearing the stories he would tell about his days of teaching, about the funny things he’d do with the kids; jokes he’d tell; little tricks he’d pull on them; that sort of thing. I always knew my dad was a really good teacher.
It was so nice to hear the speech about my dad at his tea. The guy who toasted my dad talked about how he never gave up on those kids, even though he basically never got anything in return and the situations almost always seem very hopeless. He called my dad “the master of teachable moments”. I thought that was such a great line, and so very true.
Now that my dad’s retired, he’s onto doing what he really loves- home renovations. I’m happy he’s retired and can do that. And I just want to say, Dad, I really love you. Thank you for working so hard day in and day out at an often thankless job to support your family. Even if the kids you taught never said thank you and even if they got out only to be right back in again, I am 100% sure that you still impacted their lives positively in some way, even if it was a small way. I know that their lives are better because you were a part of it. And congratulations on retiring! Enjoy!
ps. Isn’t my dad cute? Ivy’s scared of his moustache but she’s getting braver.