Because of Marianne's illness she is out of work for long periods of time. The kids really miss her when she is gone. Here's an example.
First day back at work, and I am beat! This afternoon, a group of 5 of our
Muslim boys, usually very, um, energetic, were even more so. I
didn't know what got in to them. Every time I asked, they just became
even more giddy, joking around with me, playing hide and seek, touching
my stuff. They were swarming like yellow jackets in September! Finally,
a 4th grade girl said, "Ms. B, do you know that the whole time you
were out sick, it was QUIET in here? No one misbehaved. No one was bad.
Now, that you're back, look at them! You know what I think? I think they
are very excited!"
I responded, "Excited, why? I just asked them why
they are like this."
"Ms. B, they're excited you're back!"
just grinned and looked down at their hands. I said to them very gently,
"Guys, I missed you, too!"