Friday, July 20, 2012

The Gift of Friendship

The Runner had three first grade teachers, each unique and outstanding in her field. Quiet, gentle Mrs Ellis welcomed him into her classroom with a Clifford (the big red dog) name tag, which he was happy to wear.  He loved school (not academics) but art, gym, recess and most of all, his friends.  In early spring Mrs Ellis told me he was getting less and less of his paperwork done spending most of his time doing art work on those papers. He was getting farther and farther behind and it did not bother him at all.
Fall 1989 - First grade
We made the decision to have him repeat first grade.  Mrs. Jackson's classroom was a first and second grade blended class. Other than his ability to handle a pencil and his math skills, she said you would never know he had been to first grade before.  Every Monday morning in Mrs. Jackson's class the students were allowed to put their desk anywhere they wanted for the week.  Most of them stayed in the same groups of three or four all year but not the Runner.  He moved his desk every time and sat with a different group each week.
Fall 1990 - First grade
The first week of February 1990 was a week of turmoil in Mrs. Jackson's class.  The Runner had told them he was moving and it upset the whole classroom.  At the end of his last day before we moved the entire classroom lined up to give him a hug before he left.  When we were packing to travel each of my kyds was allowed to put whatever they wanted into a backpack to take with them on the trip. Their most treasured items went into those back packs. The address book from Mrs. Jackson's class went into the Runner's back pack along with his Lego set from Christmas and Rocky the Raccoon.

On the West coast the Runner was enrolled in Mrs. Martin's classroom. Every day Mrs. Martin's class prayed for her son John  deployed in Desert Storm.  When he came home he visited their classroom to thank them.  Mrs. Martin said the Runner never asked for anything but he asked to have his picture taken with John.
The Runner and John Martin
Because we held him back the Runner was in the same grade as his sister. Did that bother him? Not at all! He was delighted. They were in adjoining first grade classrooms. Those two classes did all their art projects, movies and field trips together. For Mother's Day they did the same project and proudly brought them home. Each was a large envelope covered in flowers with a handwritten card inside. Sister's envelope was splashed with brightly colored flowers higgledy-piggledy everywhere. Inside she wrote: "I love my mom becuz she lets me mak makrny and ches." The Runner's flowers were neatly colored and placed just so. His inscription inside in pains-taking printing read: "I love you Mother."
The Runner and Sister

I love you bunches and boys in Heaven - Pat

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