We have started a new phase in our house. Elementary school.
And it is a fascinating place to be.
My daughter went to a Christian-based preschool, housed in the church where I am a part of the staff team. So over the years, I have come to know the teachers, the families, and the kids.
I co-oped in her class monthly, so I knew her classmates fairly well and was on a first name basis with them in the community.
Enter elementary school, where I know one teacher in the entire school, a handful of families with older students, and a couple of kids my daughter’s age.
The first week of school came and went with lots of excitement and stories to tell. Those stories came with laughter and giggles and figuring things out.
Those stories also came with names.
Names, as the parent, I didn’t know.
This was new territory. So I did what any rational parent would do, I got myself signed up for lunch duty as quickly as I could. And to be fair, I love me some lunch duty.
And lunch duty is serving it’s purpose.
I have begun to put names with faces. It was sweet and tender, and I felt like I was watching through a window of kids engaging kids in name of friendship.
For most kindergarteners, the playing field is level. A new school, new teacher, and lots of new faces.
A few weeks later, we found ourselves at a school family picnic. Very low key, very well attended, and lots of fun. There was a significant turn out from my daughter’s class and after almost four weeks of school, those friendships were starting to solidify.
I engaged with parents, and watched the kids grab each other’s hands, run, and laugh, and have the best time with each other.
I heard one set of parents saying their daughter has never looked happier. And it was true, this kid could not have been smiling any harder.
These kids from my daughter’s class were enjoying each other to the fullest.
Now I get we are only a month in and this is still new and exciting. But I have to say the academics of Kindergarten and “all the things” that are coming with being a student — the papers, the fundraisers, the extra-curriculars, the “extras” or “bonuses” to do at home and record and send back on this day and that day — is overwhelming and literally feels like a full time job.
And we have one kid in kindergarten right now.
So to see the joy and connection that can come in the package of friendship makes this phase full of excitement.