One of the many benefits of our children attending a true neighborhood school is that the majority of the student population are walkers. This means that every weekday morning and afternoon during the school year, the neighborhood sidewalks are filled with kids, parents, and family pets. There is something so comforting about being a member of a community – regardless of how well you know each member individually. It’s nice to just see familiar faces and be able to wave hello without needing to necessarily know their name.
Today marked the first day of school. Despite the record heat index and soup-like humidity, members of the community poured out into the streets this morning. Clay was able to delay the start of his workday and join us on the walk to school. We waved to familiar faces, carried on conversations with people we knew, and even met a few new neighbors. We are so incredibly proud of our not-so-little third grader and eager kindergartner – we pray that their school year be filled with curiosity, compassion, and community.
At their school, a thumbs up confirmation system is employed when picking up kindergartners at the end of the day. Parents mill around the front of the school – laughing, discussing, and gossiping – waiting for the final bell to ring. I was alone for the bulk of the day – absolutely relishing in the silence and taking full advantage of being able to cross-off items on both my work and personal to-do lists without being interrupted by anyone but myself. I even spruced up this space!
I found it fitting that I ended my first child-free day with a thumbs up in a crowd. I have no doubt that it means that it is going to be a good year.