In watching him get on the bus I found myself getting a little teary eyed. It is so surreal watching your child get on the bus like it is just second nature. I was very proud of him. Since we live so close to the school, I parked the stroller in a neighbors yard and Lydia and Emily and I ran across the baseball field of the school and stood at the fence to watch Ryan's bus pull in the parking lot and drop him off. Lydia and Emily were so amazed with all the buses that were coming to Ryan's school. We were too far away to make out which child he was with all the children walking into the building together, but I was able to see where his bus parks and where all the children go when entering the school.
At 10:00 I went to Ryan's class to do my volunteering. It was so great!!! When I arrived the children were still in gym class. I helped Ms. Clark by setting out snack for the kids as well as setting out their project that they were going to do while eating their snack. When the kids came back of course they all wanted to know my name and they were all made aware of the fact that I was Ryan's Mommy. After their "Letter B" project and their snack they broke off into centers. In centers, I was in charge of the art project which consisted of the children making "Big Beautiful Butterflies." These kids seemed so smart to me! I work with 2 year olds all day that I have to help do EVERYTHING and most of these kids would tell me they already knew they had to do something when I would tell them they had to do it. Amazing how independent they are!! This was also a really great opportunity for me to see Ryan's teacher and how she is with the children, etc. I think she is terrific!! The kids all seem to like her and the entire class just runs along so smoothly. Of course she has been doing this for 20 years and it is old hat now I am sure, but with new kids comes new obstacles I imagine. (I visited my mother's 2nd grade class many times over my lifetime while she was teaching, but never looked at it from a parent's point of view). After centers Ms. Clark gathered everyone on the rug to get ready for lunch. All of the packers were instructed to get their lunchboxes and line up at the door. Ms. Clark then pulled out a stack of little papers that she went through while calling the buyers names individually. As she called the children, she would ask them if they needed their paper. About half of the children said yes and took the paper from her and about half said no. Ryan said no. After thanking the children for letting me come to visit with them and they thanking me, they headed off for lunch and I headed to the office to sign out. I followed them as they passed the office going to the cafeteria and decided to follow and see how things operate (I know Ms. Clark hates me--I am WAY too involved!!!:)). I stood at the opening of the food purchasing and receiving portion of the cafeteria and watched as the class filed through getting their food and milk. Ryan's food and his little milk carton was placed in front of him and he was standing in front of this little credit card machine looking thing. You could hear the beeping as he was typing something in on the machine. At the same time, Ms. Clark noticed me standing there and I explained I just wanted to watch for a second. She showed me the little stack of papers she was reading the children's names from in the classroom. They had the child's name and their lunch identification number on it (each child is given a lunch identification number so when we send money for his lunch account, they know which child to credit it to.). This identification number is what the children had to punch into the credit card looking machine. It is a four digit number and about half of these kids--Ryan primarily--have memorized it and don't have to look at it to punch it in. I exclaimed my surprise at Ryan's ability to remember this number. Ms. Clark said "He buys every day, right?" This meaning it was not a surprise to her that kids that buy mostly (we have packed twice) can memorize it quickly. I responded "yes." but thought to myself--but my child was gone for a whole week and a day and STILL has memorized it!! I don't know if I could do that:). I told Mike that when I went to school I remember handing a little slip of paper to a cafeteria woman who punched a hole in it with a hole punch. This was not a hard thing. We did not have computers in the classroom either. It was such a great morning! After watching Ryan go to his seat at the lunch table, I thanked Ms. Clark and headed on my way back to the office to sign out and wouldn't you know it . . . I started crying AGAIN! What is my problem!!?? See what I mean . . . basket case!! I think next time I will stay for lunch.
With the Big Beautiful Butterflies art project this morning there was a beautiful poem that the children put with their butterfly to eventually be put in their alphabet book that Ms. Clark is going to make for them with all of their letter art projects. This poem was so pretty and is something I need to remind myself of from time to time and I am sure anyone with children-young or old-can use this reminder sometimes too.
A child is like a butterfly in the wind.
Some can fly higher than others.
But each one flies the best that it can.
Why compare one against the other.
Each one is different
Each one is special
Each one is beautiful.