If you want to feel like a rock star, go and visit a 1st grade classroom. You will find a room full of little people who are genuinely excited to see you. I help out in my daughter's classroom on Thursday afternoons and every time I walk in the door, I am greeted with adorable little smiles and loud whispers telling my daughter that her mom is here.
They're so eager to make a connection with you. One child reminded me of the time we saw each other when he was getting his hair cut. Another told me that he met my in-laws at Stop and Shop. I try to reply to them with as much enthusiasm as they're giving me, it's pretty adorable.
This was pretty much going to be what I was going to write about today, and I was even going to say that now that my son is 13, I miss the days when his friends and classmates were excited when a parent came into school.
Then I went to the Middle School last week.
I was picking up my son for an afternoon appointment and I happened to arrive as the students were changing classes. I could not have been more surprised to hear, "Hi Mrs. M!" I looked up to see one of my son's friends, walking with a group of his friends, with that same smile I had seen in my daughter's class, just happy to see me and thought he'd say "Hi." It may seem like such a small insignificant thing, but it really made my day.
As I continued to the office, I heard at least 3 more, "Hi Mrs. M!"'s. A boy that lives in my neighborhood even held the office door open for me. As I was waiting for my son, another friend walked in the office and was asking if my son was okay.
It is so easy to write off middle school aged children as moody or to think that they are only concerned with being cool, but I will not make that mistake again.
My son has managed to surround himself with some pretty amazing friends. I know that they're not all perfect, I don't expect them to be, but in those few minutes at the school, it reaffirmed to me that we are so lucky that these boys are in his life.
It's really comforting to know that these boys have each other. I know that things may change as the years go on, but I will always be grateful that they navigated middle school together. I hope my daughter gets to experience the same thing, I want to be cynical and say girls are so different and dramatic (being one, I have some experience) , but I also want to trust that she may just surround herself with some wonderful friends, and I won't take it for granted.