It started out as one of "those" days. I was up before the rest of the house. Normally that's not a bad thing. It usually means I have some quiet time to read email or take in a few pages of my book without being climbed on. Today, however, there was no relaxing. Today there was baking to be done.
A lot of baking.
We'll gloss over the nitty gritty with this - sometime between getting two kids dressed in clean, ironed clothes, getting one kid to and from preschool, getting two kids fed lunch, two loads of laundry and taking out the trash so one balking back Daddy didn't have to do it, I managed to coordinate a 5 year old in the cutting out and baking of 4 dozen sugar cookies and three loaves of "from scratch with no bread machine" raisin bread. And ALL of that was before I located lunch for myself at 1pm.
I was not very full of "the Christmas spirit" right about then. I was cranky. And I still had a classroom full of kindergartners to face at the "cookie decorating station." Yeah, so not happy I decided to volunteer to run a center at this thing.
At 1:30 Grandma and I signed ourselves in at the school office. We carried our bundles down the hall to the room - the room that was oddly empty of loud 5 and 6 year olds.
The teacher was bustling around the empty room prepping. That's when it hit me. The kids were at the Media Center (back "in the day" we called that the library) for their Friday special. She had us come in early so we could set up without anxious, boisterous kids underfoot.
In total there were nearly as many grown-up helpers as there would be children - some of us brought along grandmas. We joined the teacher in bustling. I was fighting the urge to grumble. This mom-of-kindergartner thing can be a lot of work.
Then the noise started to build.
Twenty-one kindergartners hours away from a week off with Santa arriving days into the break are hard to contain. They erupt into the room with waves of energy proceeding them.
This was my fourth afternoon this year in the classroom - my third afternoon "working" the party. Logan's teacher is big on parent involvement and we love her for it. These are kids I'm getting to know. Big eager faces, giddy at the idea of spreading frosting on cookies that they can then load up on chocolate and sprinkles. I mean really, heaven, right?
These are kids who realize "skating" on school linoleum floor in their socks is about as much fun as one can have. Kids who think shoving giant cotton balls around a few cardboard boxes is a great way to build an indoor snowman and who still get giddy over the idea of making reindeer food.
These are kids that helped to revitalize me today. Kids that remind me that sometimes even though it may seem overwhelming, the preparation for and the time spent simply 'being there' is the best gift of all.
For them. And for me.