Each time I step into the my hometown elementary school to teach Kindergarten music, I’m hit with the smell of cookies and tater tots. It’s a smell that brings me right back to the time when my kids attended this school, and it evokes strong memories of those long-ago days. I can see my Kindergarten-aged son putting his things in his cubby, my second-grade daughter Irish step-dancing down a hallway lined with classmates on St. Patrick’s Day. I can hear the sounds of Harvest Days and 100th day celebrations, of snack-time and lining up. I pass beloved music teacher, Mr. Mundt’s classroom and still miss him…even though it’s been years since he occupied that space, it’s still holy ground to me. The whole place is sacred, because of what happens here each day. Every day, babies are becoming kids, who are becoming the adults they will be. People are being formed right here in this building, and it’s an amazing thing to witness and to be a part of.
As I walk to my car, I can see myself waiting with Maura on rainy days for Brian to come out of school, huddled under our little frog umbrella. In those days, I had her hold my hand leaving the car in order to cross the street, and I always sang the line from Les Mis….
“Take my hand and lead me to salvation…take my love, for love is everlasting… “
It was our running joke… just something silly between me and my preschooler. Even then, she knew how corny I can be. But it was so true, and it still is today. The sacred stuff that happens in the everyday life of an elementary school…so much of it is love in disguise and all of it is everlasting.