Thursday, October 8, 2015

School Rules

When I told Senia Mae that I was going to be in "school" today she was enthralled, like her and I were connecting on a whole new level. Her first year of kindergarten seems to be all about sticking to the rules and maintaining status quo. Going over who's clip got moved is the only subject she is interested in discussing when she gets home.

My class is actually twenty hours of continuing education which happens to be at Life Chiropractic College, where I attended graduate school. So, technically, I was in school today.

"Does your school have a principal?" Senia Mae asked, looking interested as she gave me the questioning eye of a five year old.

"Well... no, it's kind of a school for grown ups," I said.

"Oh," she said. "Well, what are the other rules?"

"Ummm, I'm not really sure, I haven't been in school for a long time."

"Running or skipping in the hallways... are you allowed to do that?" Senia Mae asked. "We aren't allowed to skip or run in the hallways. The principal is always watching on tiny cameras. We have to walk quietly with our hands behind our backs, no running and absolutely NO skipping." Thinking of her question I giggled at the vision of middle aged, suit wearing professionals randomly skipping through the hallway by the Nell Williams Library. I saw their faces glowing, their smiles beaming with joy, replacing the solemn, serious gaze that usually accompanied task oriented adults.

"You know, sometimes adults forget how fun it is to skip. We probably shouldn't do it through the hallways but maybe outside in the courtyard for sure." Satisfied with my response, she looked down at a pad of paper she had prepared just for this conversation and placed a check mark next to a squiggly line.

"What about whistling in class?" Senia Mae asked. "I got a warning for that the other day, but Ms. Marlene gave me two more chances." She sighed a little, looking exasperated as she shook her round little face back and forth. "I just didn't know there was no whistling in class." She is so expressive for a five year old, sometimes it feels as if you are talking to someone much older.

"I am sure our teachers would not want whistling in class, either." I said. "I bet they want everyone to just pay attention."

"Yeah, you're probably right," she agreed as she made another check mark on the next squiggly line. "What time do you have recess?"

"Ha, unfortunately never."

"Momma, that's too bad, but I'm sure you are going to have fun at school anyway. Don't be scared, o.k.?" She looked me in the eye and stuck her soft, little hand on my cheek before she turned and skipped away.

At that moment I just wanted to fold her up and stick her in my pocket. Sometimes it takes the innocence of a child to remind us the importance of a simple yet happy life. How I love that kid.