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May 21, 2016

Be My Echo

Be My Echo

SIMPLE SATURDAY – On Friday, I took the place of my sister for Family Breakfast at Luke’s day care/nursery school or whatever they call it these days. I was told by the boss to show up at 8:50 am and take Luke, age 3 as of next week, and the muffins to school. We left the apartment late at 8:56 am, but the school was a stone’s throw, so no foul there.

We had breakfast at a small table that was difficult to lower myself into and get out of, but it was fun. After some chit-chat with the nice parents and cute kids, we were asked to stand as group to enjoy a presentation or two by the kids. They sat in a circle and sang songs for us. It was so cute and calming for everyone. Then they did another song standing up in one line, which required a little more movement. The grand finale was the kids giving us a hand-made gift. They all rushed back into the classroom holding their brown bags, calling out “Surprise.” It was so cute to see how happy they were to give something that they had made to someone else. There was no better therapy for anyone in the room than the gift-giving, receiving and saying thank you.

My other takeaways from the event:

1) Why so much sugary, packaged foods? I don’t get that with all the nut restrictions and all the anti-bullying and the rules about calling home if someone bites your kid (Luke was bitten), why don’t these private, progressive schools step up and say no to donuts, processed muffins, apple juice? Or limit it. Seems like a win-win for everyone. Luke’s birthday is on Monday. I have no idea what my full-time corporate sister is bringing. Another mom told me about what takes place: Meg goes in and tells Luke’s story and he talks about his life. How sweet is that? Can we do limited sugar or a sugar substitute (fancy dates that taste like brownies) on top of it? What is the nutritional value of organic jello? Is there such a thing?

2) The advanced kids stand out. This one blonde-haired, blue-eyed kid stole the show several times. I am going to ask my sister his story. His words, humor, full verses that he sang clearly – I want to know what they are feeding him at home. I refrained from recruiting the talent and asking about his eye-hand coordination and appetite for basketball.

3) Songs. Forget Mo’ Meditate this weekend. We are singing a song before every game. The teachers were magical in their approach to music and whoever wrote the song “Be My Echo” where you repeat what the kids say is just brilliant. I’m going to tell my kids to “Be My Echo” this weekend. Right before I lose my mind, I am going to ask them to not just repeat everything back to me, but to sing it back to me. Hopefully this will calm me down, they we will retain my instructions and we will all find it funny and true.

Yet the funniest part for me was that my sister said via text, “He’s going to give you some parting arts-and-crafts gift. You can throw it out, but don’t do it in front of the other parents or the kids.”

Here is Luke’s self-portrait now on the wall in my living room. I had an empty space before I start painting next week. Luke told all his friends he’s coming to visit me next week for our birthday celebration (I am missing his party this weekend due to the hoops tourney.) Luke’s coming up to Harlem to paint. We’ll paint, listen to music, eat healthful snacks, and sing, “Be My Echo.”

Maureen Holohan is a published author, writer and director of Mo’ Motion Basketball Training & Fitness in NYC.