The Search

P-A-N-I-C.

It happened so quickly and for no obvious reason.  Heat rush.  Up my body, starting at my toes, all the way to my crown.   Face flushed.  Rushing, racing thoughts penetrate my presence.  “What is it?  What is it?” I wonder, searching for the origin of this sensation.

FEAR.

I reach up to check the fire in my cheeks, lightly, accidentally brushing my right ear.

I close my eyes, shaking my head in disbelief.  Recognition.

“Oh, No!  I lost an earring.  NOT AGAIN!”  explodes from my mouth.

The children before me understand that this is a bigger deal than it should be (they have been through this before).  The class comes to my rescue.  They ask where I have been so they can retrace my steps. Check. Nada. No earring.

They suggest I shake out my clothing, in case it fell out and became stuck in my sweater.  I do it.  Rien. Not there either. On their hands and knees now, crawling and circling and crawling some more. The search is on for an earring. one. glorious. gold. sparkly. earring.

A search team moves to another part of the building.  Lynne darts from the classroom, scanning the floors along the hallway as she rushes all the way back to the library where we were just a few minutes before.  Zip.  Zero. No earring in sight.

Abby, the librarian, sees that Lynne is back, and asks  if she needs help with something.  When Lynne explains, Abby exclaims, “AGAIN?!” (as if  this is a daily occurrence).  She rushes to get her flashlight, the same trusty flashlight that she used to recuperate my beautiful blue diamond earring that I lost the last time.  She swears by it.  It  has a proven track record.

The light shines along the library floor, scanning back and forth, back and forth until  every inch of where I had been that morning is flashed.  Dirt, yes. Earring, no. Strike out. Lynne begins the s-l-o-w march back to the classroom to break the news…

As she makes her way back to Room 53, Lynne enters to Tyler’s loud,  proud cry. “I found it! I found Ms. Batcho’s earring!”   The room erupts in joyous laughter knowing their efforts had purpose and the day is saved.

Relief and gratitude wash over me.

The flush lightens. Temperature slowly returns to normal. Breath deepens.

My precious-antique-rummage sale-50 cent earring is back in its rightful ear.

 

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6 thoughts on “The Search

  1. A wonderful post, Maribeth! You have really captured this small moment in time. The splash of dialogue, the purposeful use of fragments, variation in print, rich description – but it is the surprise ending that made me laugh out loud, even though I was there and knew how it all ended. Priceless story…no pun intended!

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  2. I can just picture your class on their hands and knees, Maribeth! I also like your beginning P-A-N-I-C sets the stage, and your ending reminds us that any kind of jewelry is precious!

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  3. What a fun post this is! It reminds all of us teachers about those moments when we became vulnerable in our own classrooms but the children saved the day! And, needless to say, it is what they will remember best about school this week! The search!!!!!

    Like

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