Friday, November 16, 2012

Lunch with a bunch of 1st Graders

I remember reading an article years ago that discussed how children in European countries often break long enough during the school day to run home and have lunch with their families. While I have no idea if that's actually true, the idea behind it always struck me as a wonderful concept.

When Hayden began school, there was a certain shroud of mystery surrounding the happenings in school. In my mind, what parents see from school is limited to Progress Reports, Parent/Teacher Conferences, and the occasional school event. Teachers, students, and the various individuals that make a school day possible are the only ones that get in on the action that’s associated with the week day. Boy was I wrong!

Hayden has been asking all year that I join him for lunch one day. But considering my office isn’t exactly a hop, skip, and a jump away, it takes some coordination to make it happen. Especially when the working world often does a lot of business during the lunch hour. However, I promised my little man that I would make a lunch date happen, if we got a good report from his teacher.

It’s not that Hayden is bad. Mistake me not! But Hayden is a social kid, a terribly social kid. He’s never, ever, ever met a stranger. The world is full of people and Hayden wants to be friends with all of them.

So it came as no surprise when we began getting weekly progress papers and every phrase associated with the behavioral implications of a social child was marked. I bowed my head and laughed to myself because ladies and gents…he is my child.

So we bargained with him…if we got a good report, I’d make a lunch date happen….and so it did.

I surprised him at school and caught him while he and his class were walking to the lunch room and in the sweetest of voices, he asked “Momma?” like he couldn’t even believe I was actually there.

After getting his food, he led me to a special table where we sat and then invited his best good friend, Anna Rials, to join us. Not long after, two boys joined us, Ayden and Cameron, and y’all…I find it really hard to believe that MY CHILD is the talkative one. While Ayden filled me in on all the sleep walking antics he’s involved in at night, Cameron told me all about his cousins, his cousin’s cousin, and his BFF that are all coming to stay the night with him TONIGHT! Anna Rials interjected that her parents are divorced and Hayden announced that “Anna Rials knows ALL about fire because her Dad’s a Fire Fighter!”

The icing on the cake, however, was the girl in a neighboring class that tapped me on my shoulder before she left the lunch room, pointed at Hayden and exclaimed “He’s really cuuuute!” To which Ayden and Cameron burst into laughter and announced “HAYDEN’S GOT A GIRLFRIEND!” Though Hayden was mesmerized with his lunch and missed the whole thing so he asked me what she said and when I told him, he merely shrugged his shoulders, smiled and said “Oh, okay.” People…that boy accepted that compliment as fact, and not the opinion of another person.

I’m glad he’s got great self-esteem.

As I sat there thanking the Lord that I could be present for this opportunity, my boy hugged me.

And sealed the deal.

Best lunch date ever.