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Out To Lunch


Lately, I have been joining my first-grade daughter for lunch at her school in the North Kitsap School District.

Did you know it’s cool to do that? When I showed up in the lunch line my first visit, the principal said warmly – even excitedly, “I think it’s great that you’re here. Feel free to do this anytime you want!” Why does the principal’s approval mean so much, even at my age? I suppose that’s another topic for a different post!


I need to ask myself — Why haven’t I been doing this all year??? First-graders are cool! Well, when 100 of them are not eating in my kitchen, that is *wink*.

On those days, I arrive at school (with my 4 year old, Lucy) in time to wait in the lunch line. That’s when my homies (yeah, we’re close like that) are chillin’ in line on the wall. We are all just kickin’ it old school, yo. Some good conversation is happening while those tummies are growling. I get the recess low-down and get the 411 on how great I am. Really.

Again – why haven’t I been doing this all year?!

We plod through the line and I watch my “homies” make their own food choices. I keep my opinions to myself. I’m chillin’ with my “homies”, yo… I leave “Mama” at home!

We eventually make it to a table. I am pretty sure this is the first time in my life where the “cool table” is the “cool table” because of Me. OK, maybe Lucy. She’s a pretty rockin’ perschool kid.

Conversation at the table can be slow in the beginning. I know I can be intimidating. Coolness can have that effect on a group. I try to loosen things up,” So… What’s shakin’? What’s the word? Gimme the down-low. I need the 411 peeps!” Laughter erupts from the very low benches of the cafeteria table. My knees are nearly at my neck…

You get what you ask for. That’s my word of warning. If you don’t guide the conversation, you… you just… I… Just know there is a lot of power one holds when one is Queen of the Lunch Room. For example, being expected to be a psychic by correctly guessing things like numbers on the lip of milk cartons and how many carrots Jr. ate last night.

I hear stories. Oh. Stories. Friends, you want the skinny on what is really goin’ down in the neighborhood… eat lunch with your kid’s class.

For example, “D”… the new kid in class. I learned more about “D” and his family in 3.75 minutes than I’d learn in an hour having coffee with his mom… I’m sure of it. There was nothing scandalous, but the perspective of his reality… Al.Mighty. The boy was a riot. He also dominated much of the lunch-time conversation. 

One story he told really stood out:

D: I played dodgeball with my Dad.

Me: Really? That sounds like fun.

D: Yeah. I hit him in the nuts.

Me: {holding back serious chuckle} Oh dear.

D: Yeah. It really hurt.

Me: {Still holding back} I can only imagine…

D: Yeah. I hit him with a football.

Me: {trying not to fall off bench} Umm… honey, you don’t play dodgeball with a football, do you?

D: Yeah… I hit him with the pointy part of the ball really hard…

Me: {Lost it}

My giggle fest was interrupted by my friend’s daughter… “Raise your hand if you think Miss Jenny is pretty!!!!” I looked around the table and gave the stink eye smiled at each child . Yep. Everyone raised their hand.

Even at such a young age, those kids are so smart!

My son is in 3rd grade, but is not open to me joining him for lunch. I think he just doesn’t like the competition. 

So… Do you have a child (children) in school? Have you checked out their “lunch hour”? Maybe I’m the only one who hadn’t thought to do this. But, if you have not done it… I strongly suggest seeing about making it happen. I know it is harder if you work during that time, but if there is any way you can steal away… try! There are only a few weeks of school left this year. I missed my window with my 3rd grade son, but looks like I caught my daughter (and her friends) in time:)


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2 thoughts on “Out To Lunch

  1. Ahhhh!!! I used to LOVE joining my boys for lunch when they were in elementary school. First graders are especially fun because they will say just about anything…You’re not too late on your son, though. Really! Once he realizes that all his friends/classmates think you’re cool, he’ll love having you join him for lunch! Even if they act like they don’t like it, they really do.

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