I had the chance to see RR in action today. It was her Sun Celebration which, at our school, means the children circle around a flat sun to watch and listen as RR walks around one time for each of her years on earth. For each circle, Debra and I had the chance to tell the kids about each year of RR’s life. Then we stayed for lunch and playground time.
Not only was it our first Sun Celebration, but it was my first chance to be a part of her school day. Eating lunch with 22 nearly silent children was a wonder. I’m amazed at how many of them I know – not just their names but who their parents are, how they come to school, where they live, who their friends are, and the clothes they like to wear. I’m also amazed that Debra knows even more of their names and faces.
We watched the kids scatter to play on the playground, falling into small groups. These two are wrestling. Those boys are building a sandcastle. Six girls are gathered together pretending something small and precise, all in similar flowered dresses. A pack of kids are tossing balls at a basket. Someone is tangled around my legs. RR is running, chasing, jumping, climbing, leaping, and whooping in a small group of other leaper-whoopers who are launching themselves up into the playset-pirate ship, flying over benches, and discovering mulch-treasure to take back to the ship.
I don’t know if was a glimpse of her future or a simple snapshot – likely a bit of both. She was the sole girl in a group of older boys, a 3-yr-old with tangled curls running laps with lanky 4 and 5-yr-olds. Her skirt not slowing her down for an instant as she slid down the slide in a pile of pirates and tumbled out on the ground to begin again. I wish I hadn’t been quite so glad that she wasn’t playing with the quiet, serious girls because she might someday and that’s not a terrible thing. On the other hand, she can be a pirate forever and that’s okay with me, too.
She’s such a big girl. A strong girl. A wonder. A pirate (for the moment). And a lot of fun.