I found out this morning when we were getting ready to volunteer in the lunchroom. Last week, when the Big Kids went off to school for their first day, one of the first things Little Brother asked was, “When do we go to lunchroom?”
He loved being in the lunchroom. The kids loved having him there. He was like Everyone’s Little Brother. They would share snacks, play little games with him, hi-5 him on their way in the door. The Lunch Ladies, Teachers and Office Staff were very welcoming to him. He received little gifts on his birthday and at Christmas.
This morning I told him that it was our Lunchroom Day. I named a few kids from our old school that he would see there. Then he said, “But I won’t see Middle Sister!”
That’s when I realized that he thought we’d be back in the lunchroom at our old school. I had to tell him that the lunchroom he knew isn’t a lunchroom anymore. That he wouldn’t see Miss Rita, and the Office Staff, and the Lunch Mommies.
I thought I was done crying over St. Peter’s School. Big Brother has graduated, he’s loving high school, and he seems to have been well-prepared. Middle Sister has moved on, and she seems happy in her new school with old and new friends. We have all been warmly welcomed by the parents, faculty and administration at the new school.
I hadn’t thought about the impact it would have on Little Brother, who never actually got to attend school there, but made it into the yearbook one year, since he was there so much. Every child and teacher in the school knew his name. I hadn’t realized that he would cry when he found out that we’d be helping in a new lunchroom this year.
I cried a little too. And then I held his hand, and we went in to meet the Lunch Mommies and Teachers in the new school. He saw some familiar faces and ate with Middle Sister.
And it was good. Different, but good. It will be OK.