Meet the teacher was this week for Oliver. It was surreal pulling into the same parking lot my mom used to drop me off at when I was in elementary school. It has stayed the same, some buildings expanded and the touch of a campus beautification committee apparent in the plants and flowers. As I enter into the lobby I hear three different languages being spoken- English, Spanish, and possibly Burmese (I think). This is different from my childhood experience, which will bring different challenges in the classroom, but more diversity too; in this way it will be a richer community. And I pray it will be a place of deeper and wider love experienced.
The carpet is maroon, for the school colors; maroon and white, bold and bright, old chants and cheers run through my mind. We walk past the library down the halls. I remember one summer the library in this kindergarten building caught fire right before the school year started.
"Look Daddy, globes". Oliver points to a bunch of globes way up high on the tops of cabinets resting near the ceiling. "I like globes."
We walk in the classroom with tissue paper flowers on the wall and polk-a-dot laminated letters that read Watch us grow. The teacher looks near my age, maybe younger. She is wearing a bright pink dress with scalloped edges. Her voice the most gentle I possibly have ever heard. She is calm and collected too. At one point while answering the questions of other parents, I see Oliver already clamoring for her attention. "Teacher, teacher" he says over and over. What amazes me is how the teacher wisely ignores him and remains focused on the parent asking question. She knows what she is doing!
Several forms-filled-out later, we run through the rain back to our car. We still need to buy school supplies, so we go to a different parking lot and then run under the awnings up the hill all the way to the cafeteria. Only to be told supplies are being sold in the gym, which is quite a trek. We go down the hill and around the bend. Through the rain once again. My straightened hair is now curl and frizz. At the gym Jeff says with amazement "It looks just the same."
We remember playing car-lot and dodge ball and doing the jump rope unit. We remember sliding across the floor on scooters and playing in four square tournaments too. I remember my very first cheer practice in that gym, and how I looked up to the high school girls who taught us.
As we leave, the power flickers on and off. We race back to the car. Thunder startles us. Oliver and I both jump. Jeff laughs. Finally, we head home with school supplies in hand.
Last Summer for us it was all about transition. In August we were still living with my parents, while in the process of a 9 month home renovation. I had distant dreams of these things I am experiencing now; having an art shop on my blog, an art room, organizing and decorating our home, walking Oliver through the halls of my old school to meet his teacher.
This season in the Hirshburg home we are settling in; into our home, Oliver's school, into my art and painting, into new building projects for Jeff. But the same grace is needed during this new season that carried us through the last one; God's grace.
Whatever season we are in, may we all move forward with humility and with a grace that falls like rain.