Note: I started this last week; it was one of those nights when the keyboard didn’t work. It avoided the recycle bin but references to today really mean a week ago last Tuesday. Now that I cleared that up I’ll see if the Keyboard works tonight.
In the fall of ’98 Sharyl and I accepted an invitation to attend “Grandparents’ Day” at Washington elementary school; today I accepted an invitation to attend a dinner concert presented by the Cleveland elementary “Honor Choir”. We enjoyed grand parents day with Cale and Conner and I enjoyed the concert and dinner with Luke. I still miss her every day; some days more than others, today was one of those.
Between those two events, we attended dozens of assorted elementary school functions with five wonderful grand kids. I think Sharyl thoroughly enjoyed every one she ever attended; I enjoyed most of them but endured might better describe a few. We started the run at Washington, then to McKinley for a few years, back to Washington and I closed it out at Cleveland. I think Sharyl’s last one was at Washington. During her illness neither of us attended a few of them, Braxton and Luke understood.
Norman elementary schools are named for presidents; the middle schools are named for authors, just a little FYI.
Grandparents’ day was probably my favorite of the events. The first one was at Washington with Cale and Conner; we went to their classroom in the afternoon. They did a little informal program, I really don’t remember details, I do remember feeling sorry for the kids whose grandparents or grandparent wasn’t there because they lived in Houston or maybe just in the next block. Sharyl and I always tried to give those kids some of our time. I think the guys came home with us and we probably stopped for ice cream on the way. We resumed that procedure a few years later with Braxton and Luke at Washington. I think we did four with Braxton and only one with Luke; I’m not sure why but Cleveland doesn’t do grandparents’ day; probably because of that grandparent that lives in Houston or around the corner.
Unlike Cleveland, McKinley lets it all hang out for grandparents’ day. You show up about 11:00 in the A.M. for some classroom time then it is off to the cafeteria to stand in line for your choice of a hamburger or hot dog and lunch under the shade trees.
After lunch it is back to the classroom for more festivities unless your grandkid is in Ms Perry’s class. Ms Perry’s class goes to the Cleveland County Fair. Her family is in charge of the petting zoo at the fair. She even encourages you to ride the big yellow bus to the fair. I got to go to the fair with Ms Perry at least three times; Sharyl never got to go and she didn’t seem to mind; in fact I can still see that little, I did it to you again, grin. At least I never had to ride the big yellow bus, but I did have to pet some goats and pigs. Honestly of all the teachers I met Ms Perry is my all time favorite; the kind we need more of and I think if I saw her after all these years she would remember me and mention the petting zoo and the big yellow bus.
It only took about two times of standing in line for a hot dog or burger for us to get a little smarter. We would go to Arby’s or Subway and bring lunch for the kids and us. Our last one at McKinley when Rylie was a fifth grader, after we finished lunch, I noticed Ry was looking out toward the playground. She handled it quite diplomatically; she said, “If you guys want to you can go.” She joined her friends and we completed our last grandparents’ day at McKinley.
I believe the music programs at the three schools were left to the discretion of the music teachers. They were all good and I was impressed with the teachers’ ability to get that many kids to pretty much be where they were supposed to be and doing what they were supposed to be doing.
The programs at Washington seemed to be very well organized and a little more structured. The teachers were obviously in charge and directing the show but you didn’t really notice them.
The teacher at McKinley, on the other hand, set the standard for being visible and involved in the show. She didn’t intend to divert attention from the kids, she just thoroughly enjoyed working with the kids and sometimes got caught up in the moment and almost became the show. I think I got in trouble every time we went to one of those; sometimes Sharyl just didn’t understand.
I only had the opportunity to do two or three at Cleveland with the most vocally talented of my grandkids; Luke can sing. They probably do the best job of the three of displaying the available talent. I didn’t meet the principal but he has to be a great guy, one of their programs was a tribute to Elvis. He closed the thing out with an Elvis impersonation. It wasn’t Elvis but he did some kind of a goofy entry to close the one last Tuesday; the kind of thing the kids love.
Another page in the life and times of Dave is turned. Maybe in 20 years or so, if I’m lucky Ms Perry will let me ride the big yellow bus to the fair for great grandparents’ day.
Thanks for reading what I write. The next two weeks are gonna be a little tough; I could use a prayer.
Good Night and God Bless.