As I was hurrying out to my car tonight after work, I passed a mom and her jr. high-age daughter on the sidewalk. The girl brightened when she saw me and said, "Hi Mrs. Brubaker!"
I said hi back, wondering whose older sister I had just greeted. She looked familiar, but I couldn't place her.
It took me until I unlocked my car before it hit me: I'm not Mrs. Brubaker at this school. I'm Miss Bethany. As used as I am to being referred to as Mrs. Brubaker, no one at this school calls me by my last name.
I turned around to see if the girl was still in sight, but she and her mom had disappeared into the school, and an impatient driver was waiting for my parking space.
A student of mine from years past recognized me today. It makes me smile to think about it. Three years as a substitute teacher broke me, but I did meet and come to love hundreds of children. I may have had her in my class for a week, or even a month. Who knows?
But she remembered me. And I love knowing that.