Saturday, May 31, 2014

School daze

Photo by Polly Hooper
One more week and a day...and the FWISD schools are out for the summer (who finishes the year on a Monday? snow days and all that). Jacob is at the end of second grade, and I realize I've been waiting on my porch for him almost every morning for three years. At first Sophie was a puppy, and we waited together--she seemed to know that Jacob would be coming. Now, she's 30 lbs. of enthusiasm and it's too much of an effort to contain her while I wait. Three years ago, Jacob would give me a hug and a kiss before he headed across the street. Now I get what I call a passive hug--he sort of leans into me and allows me to hug him--it exasperates his father, but I understand. He doesn't want to be teased about hugging his grandmother.
I love watching the kids go by--new faces every year, but I am also watching some grow up. I notice in particular one father/daughter combination. She walks sedately beside him, holding his hand, not talking, although he occasionally smiles fondly at her. She's grown so tall since I first noticed them that I wonder if she's not at least in fourth grade, maybe fifth. The Brown boys from behind me are now both in school--Alex spent two years accompanying mom Amy while she walked with Sam, but this year Alex is in kindergarten. Both boys run far ahead of Amy. And Atticus, Jacob's pal from kindergarten runs ahead of his dad, though the other day he sweetly brought my paper up to me (usually Jacob's chore). On project days, parents often carefully carry constructions and posters of various sizes and shapes. I remember when friend Sue lived next door and would help Hunter labor over his projects--I was pleased to be in the audience with Sue when Hunter graduated from fifth grade. And then Jacob had the same kindergarten teacher Hunter had. Today, on the way home, Jacob sometimes still stops to give her a hug.
I remember when Jacob was still a toddler, sitting on the porch with him on my lap staring wistfully at the kids in the afternoon when they got out of school. Once he walked a friend across the street and explained to her that this was where he was going to school. He knew more about it than we did, but because I am a resident grandparent and the after-school care person, he can attend there. It's a good school, and we're lucky he's there.
Over the years I've become friends with the crossing guards--Booker was my great friend, brought my garbage cars up and down for me and called me Granny, even before Jacob was in school. Now we have a pleasant lady who waves at me as I water plants--I do that this time of year as I wait.
I feel like I'm seeing the world pass by me--children and parents of all sizes, shapes, and races, growing, changing, moving on through life while I sit on my porch and watch. I love it..

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