As my 13th school year ends I am elated at the prospect of some free time during the summer (one of the perks of being a 10 month employee!). Since I began this illustrious career in an elementary school and moved to the high school only 3 years ago I am still serving some of the same students from my early days. Even if I don’t remember all of their names, I recognize the faces. Some of them haven’t changed much, just a lot taller and with less of the baby look about them. Underneath all their teenage bravado they’re just kids who want to eat when they’re in my line. Sometimes they remember me and ask how I’m doing which I find very sweet. My colleagues and I are noticing how increasingly when we are out at local stores and restaurants the roles are reversed and these same children we serve food to are serving us, and they recognize us. Not only do they know who we each are, (perhaps not by name), but they seem genuinely happy to see us! So we are not just the faceless people slapping food on a tray and collecting their money, we are part of their school life. One recent day as I was setting up my station some of the students were standing nearby. One girl who was absentmindedly watching us expressed to me how we did a lot of work just to serve them lunch. Wow! Knowing that at least some of the students have respect for us, and are seemingly glad to see us makes my lunch lady heart smile. A nice note on which to begin my summer.