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November 24, 2013

Last week, Allison and I attended a Thanksgiving Party for Madison’s preschool class.  When we, and the other sets of parents, arrived the kids were all outside for recess so they weren’t aware we were inside waiting for them.  I wish someone had thought to film their reactions when they walked in one behind the other in a single file line like ducklings, the look on each of their faces once they discovered we were in the classroom was priceless.  They were shuffled into the attached bathroom to wash their hands before eating the Thanksgiving feast of a snack prepared for them.  Madison peeked out once or twice to make sure we were still there.
After she threw her crumpled paper towel away she ran as fast as her little legs would allow right into my arms.  I could feel her hands were still damp from a rushed attempt at drying them.  I could feel her smiling with her cheek pressed against mine.  Without saying a word, I could tell she was thankful her mother and I were there.

One by one, each child embraced their parents then took a seat at the toddler sized table to bless their food and eat while the adults performed an impromptu, and maybe a slightly embarrassing, performance of If You’re Happy and You Know It.  We clapped in agreement while we watched this group of children, our children, take bites of chocolate frosted doughnuts and cotton candy filled ice cream cones, realizing each one of them provided us a reason to celebrate.  We stomped our feet in unison as our eyes went from child to child before landing on our own, but not before catching the eye of Madison’s teacher offering a smile of gratitude and an acknowledgement that it does in fact take a village.  We turned ourselves around in mixed rotations finding the face of our own offspring to regain focus, something that seems to happen every day for me.

In typical slow-eating fashion, Madison was the last to finish her plate before ultimately moving along to the craft table where she would create a turkey from a paper plate, a mini masterpiece of glue stick fated feathers and crayon covered legs made from construction paper.  A playful song her class had been singing for the last week or so came to mind:  Mr. Turkey, Mr. Turkey / run away, run away / if you don't be careful / you will be a mouthful / on Thanksgiving Day.

Several months ago when we enrolled Madison in preschool, we found a strange sense of comfort that this was a good decision.  Watching her in this environment confirmed that this was not only a good decision, but one we never should have doubted to begin with.  Her teacher pulled us aside during the party to let us know a new girl joined the class that morning and Madison was the first to introduce herself and made every attempt to include her with the rest of the group.  She's kind and compassionate.  She's sweet and gentle.  She's the best parts of her mother and I combined.

We're thankful for her.  She's happy and we know it.

At this moment, at this time we're all happy... our faces can't help but show it.


  1. So awesome that the kids got a nice surprise! And glad you are happy with your decision to enroll her in preschool. What a lovely daughter to show such acceptance of the new girl. Hope she carries that into her elementary school years.

    1. Me, too! She's sweet, but that story really surprised us. It's amazing how inspiring a two year old can be.


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