Today I had the opportunity to go and eat lunch with Brooklyn at her school. I brought along Roman who was excited to get a glimpse of real kindergarteners in action. Brooklyn didn't know we were coming and was very excited and surprised when we suddenly sat down beside her in the classroom "pit" a few minutes before the lunch bell.
Right away she informed us of a couple of lunchtime rules to make sure we didn't get out of line--literally. Walk to the line. Stay behind your person. Don't yell. Don't run. If you do these things then Mrs. Tucker won't become the "mean teacher." I nodded solemnly and our lunchtime line proceeded down the hall and toward the cafeteria.
After being served our pizza and chocolate milk we sat down to eat. As we ate I asked Brooklyn and two noisy boys sitting across from us about their day, what they had learned and if anybody ever got white milk. They didn't remember what they had learned, their friend Kylie liked Brian because he could count to over a hundred and that was amazing, and no, nobody ever got white milk. All in all, aside from the interjections of sound effects and invisible ghosts attacking the table, a decent conversation.
After lunch, recess. Brooklyn showed us--along with about seven groupies (who knew that a mom could make you so popular?) around the playground and I showed my sweet pushing skills on the swings.
As I watched the kids playing, I couldn't help but wonder where their lives would take them in the next few years. They were so innocent. Everybody was friends with everybody else, no one cared about clothes or style or being cool and the only thing that made you stand apart was how high you could count.
What makes all of that change?