We flipped the switch off.

And the lights went out for the last time.

For four years, we’d taught elementary school in neighboring classrooms. Together. We carpooled in the mornings and danced to our favorite jams. We ate lunch in our classrooms and supervised recess.We played dress up on spirit days and chaperoned field trips. We bandaged knees, held crying children in our arms, and tried to leave the school just a little better than we found it. And we did it all. Together.

The last few weeks before our last day as teachers, we’d started packing up our classrooms and cleaning them out. We spent the first four years of our marriage in those classrooms, and the school felt like a second home to us. Digging through drawers sparked memories in our minds.

The best kind of memories.

The ones you never forget.

And, like a sitcom finale, we stopped and cleaned out our memory banks with each other and our colleagues friends just as much as we cleaned our rooms.

When the last day of school came, we hugged the kids and parents goodbye. We’d gotten so used to children crying on our shoulders. It was a change to have parents crying on them, too, saying things like this: You changed my child’s life, and I’ll never be able to repay you. 

Wow.

That’s. really. powerful. stuff.

I’d rather be Amy and Jordan…

The one thing we always said during our four years as teachers is that we’d never regret one minute of it later in life. It would never feel like wasted time. Like we’d given our time to “the man” and gotten nothing back. Because you can’t ever regret loving kids.And no one can pay you more than the compliment of changing someone’s life.Once the goodbyes were finished, we made the long walk to Amy’s classroom
 for the very last time. Together. And we stood in her empty room. Together. The one that used to house Mrs. Demos and her fourth graders. The one that used to have Wild West posters on the walls. The one where books came to life and children became authors.The one where the memories lived. We stood there in silence for a minute. Jordan flipped off the light switch for the last time, and Amy started to cry.

She turned toward Jordan, held him tight, and with tears streaking down her cheeks, she sniffled and said, “We’re not going to be Mr. and Mrs. Demos anymore…”

To which Jordan, through a tear of his own, smiled and replied, “I’d rather be Amy and Jordan…”

Because, even though we were turning off the lights on one adventure, the lights were just flickering on in our new adventure as full-time photographers in love.

Pink Slip Files_0007

Want to catch up on The Pink Slip Files? You can read them all right here:

Intro: What Are the Pink Slip Files?
No. 1: Failing Pre-Marital Class & Otter DNA
No. 2: Sink or Swim
No. 3: Turning Off the Lights
No. 4: Leave a Message at the Tone
No. 5: Chocolates, Mystery Shows & Honeymooning
No. 6: Cutting Coupons & Wal-Mart Jeans
No. 7: Paper Chains of Memories
No. 8: Dancing on Bar Tops
No. 9: Man’s Best (Feline) Friend
No. 10: Confessions of a Waffle Fry
No. 11: What’s So Important About Shoelaces?
No. 12: Breaking Records… Like It’s 1924
No. 13: Why We’re Not as Classy as We Thought
No. 14: A Letter to My Only Starbucks Lover
No. 15: The Night We Killed Someone (Kind Of)
No. 16: Lord, It’s a Fire!
No. 17: 6 Words We Thought We’d Never Google
No. 18: Walking in the Door… And Taking Off Our Clothes

 

3 comments

    Denise Brinkman

    Tear! Jordan had the BEST RESPONSE to Amy's statement. Seriously perfect. I verbally awww-ed.

    ....Don't mind me as I drink a glass of wine and peruse your old pink slip blog entries late at night! :)

    Crying? No, I've got something in my eye! ;-)

    Amy & Jordan

    Aw! Haha!! Us too! ;)