On September 11, 2009 Lucas had his first day of junior pre-school at Lake Anne Nursery Kindergarten (LANK). February 12, 2016, Oliver has three months left. Over the years I’ve volunteered, attended class parties, play dates and school events, eager to participate in anything and everything. Now in my seventh year I rarely make it to kiss and ride, haven’t been to any class parties and only one play date. So I nudged my way into Oliver’s Valentine’s Day party. All the kids were gathered in a circle where they patiently waited their turn to hand out their Valentines to their classmates. They iced and decorated cookies, licking knives and fingers. As the kids finished up, Mrs. Even started a game. I watched the kids silliness and giddiness and was reminded of what I too often forget with my youngest, the magic and wonder of being five years old.

As we finish our 7th year and LANK its 51st year, I am grateful for the time Penny bit another child, twice, because she finally learned to share, the teacher conferences where I found out Lucas has sick dance moves, Penny is quietly confident and Oliver is an artist, the art projects that fill my treasure trove, and all the bittersweet memories Lucas, Penny, Oliver and I have made in this nurturing, affectionate, sweet school to which we’ll soon say goodbye.

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