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Columns

June 21, 2009

Daughters share one special year

We were in the Greater Plains sixthgrade wing after school, and my 5-year-old daughter, Allie, was begging for a glimpse of her older sister’s classroom. “Please, can I see it?” she asked, tugging on my hand. “I just want to see the castle.”



We peeked in to see the medieval transformation the sixth-graders had created, with coats of arms, tapestries and paper “stones” lining the walls, and a cardboard dungeon, church and watchtower big enough for kids to climb inside.



It was magical even to me; I couldn’t imagine how it would look to a little kid stealing a glimpse of the glamorous big-kid world.



With a kindergartner and a sixth-grader, I see both ends, every day. This year has been the only time my two girls will ever be in the same school, and the brief convergence is extraspecial because Greater Plains was my elementary school, too.



There is a unique relationship between the little kids and the big kids. At playtime, the kindergartners re-enact the recent sixth-grade play, reciting the oneliners they remember; singing snippets of the songs. In the hallways and after school, the sixth-graders give hugs and high-fives to the kindergartners they know.



Their worlds are so different, yet they are united by the shared experience of hearing the same morning announcements on the PA, smelling the same chicken nuggets at lunchtime, meeting the same visitors at school assemblies.



Abby and Allie ride the bus together, pass each other in the hall and see each other at major school events, such as last week’s Field Day on the playground. When Allie bumped her teeth in gym class and was rushed, crying and bleeding, to the nurse’s office, word quickly got back to Abby from a classmate who happened to be passing by.

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