Small Towns

cropped-church.jpgWe came home from dropping the kids off at school this morning – busy, hectic morning, as usual. Mags and I came in and as we were taking our layers off noticed all Mouse’s shoes right where they belong in her cubby. Yay! Wait, no, if ALL her shoes are right where they belong, is she clomping around in her snow boots all day? Called the front office and talked to Ann – bless her. One of the joys of a small town is the relationships you cultivate. I apologized, knowing what a school office looks and sounds like on a snowy morning – imagine chaos – and she graciously said, “That’s what we are here for, what do you need?”

“I am so sorry, but I think Mouse may have forgotten her sneakers… I know this is a pain, but can she call me…”

“You are never a pain! I called Gen at the school when my kids were little and now you call me. Hold on one minute.”

And with tears in my eyes, I know she’s right. Gen was the school secretary when I was in school, when Ann’s kids were in school and Gen was just like Ann – no nonsense, calm, capable, and considerate above and beyond duty. She came back on the line in a few minutes.

“Mouse has snow boots for outside, she doesn’t have gym today, and Ms. Fontaine says she has on lovely black dress up shoes for the classroom, so go pour yourself a second cup of coffee and relax.”

There’s a lot in the news right now about school safety. Recent events changed forever our feelings about school safety. I always catch my breath for a moment when I say good-bye in the commuter line and yell, “I love you!” as they grab backpacks and slam the car door. Leaving your kids in the hands of others is hard. Knowing my kids are in such good hands, in hands that share a mother’s worry…. it’s comforting. It’s reassuring. It’s part of belonging in a small town.

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