But, as I was telling a friend the other night while we were having a joint birthday party for my husband (August) and son (September), I feel like Declan has been in a bubble throughout elementary school. We watched all the kids run around the yard and thought back to how most of them met in Kindergarten, or even pre-school. How they have formed this protective shield over the years.
Dex’s class was the first of another kind of bubble in the school – signifying our growth – where every year they have needed a third teacher to keep the classes around 20-22 kids in size.
Roughly 75 kids in his class and I can only think of a few kids over the years that have been serious “troublemakers” and most of those kids had been going through major problems at home, which the school was playing a major role in assisting the child.
Of those 75 kids, about 25 are in Declan’s extended circle of friends – kids I know by name and know their parents.
What I love about the children at Declan’s school is this: they love being different. They don’t care if other kids are different. They protect each others’ differences.
I was on a field trip last year and one girl, one of the “troublemakers,” was having major issues coming down the stairs of the capital. She started crying that she was afraid of heights, loudly, and sat down on the stairs, trembling like a leaf. A few kids started rolling their eyes and snapping at her as I pushed my way from the back to help. Then I heard a very distinct voice.
“Stop it. Everyone has their issues. It’s OK to be scared of heights!”
It was a boy who I know had problems with the girl in question, but he took her hand and lead her down the stairs before I could get there.
That’s what these kids are about about. There is something special about this combination, and many more people than me have noticed it.
Declan was very nervous last night; I think he finally gets it that this will be his very last year at this school. I have been thinking about this all summer. How this group will be scattered to the wind next year, seeing as Denver has so many choices for middle school. How hard middle school will be for all of them without their protective coating of friendship with each other.
But, as we explained to Declan, we have a whole year to enjoy it. All these lovely people and the bubble of fantastic children.
Here we go.