Since Lilly started Kindergarten, she has loved the morning routine. Come into school, stand in line with her class (the entire school meets in the gym, lined up by class), morning announcements, prayers, pledge of allegiance, joke of the day, and finally walking out with her class to her classroom.
It's nice because, honestly, it could be a scary time for her - it is a little intimidating, and I know she feels it sometimes, but really she loves the routine and all the parts of it. I get emotional almost daily, as I watch her recite her prayers while holding her hands perfectly together.
She loves to make announcements, and luckily the principal is generous with calling on her. Most days it is just "Mommy and Ben are here today!" (You'd think that would get old, since we're there every.single.day.) But after her confidence with making frivolous announcements, she decided it was time to conquer the joke of the day.
There's a box at the front of the school where kids can submit their jokes. A bunch of jokes in a box, one pulled out each day, and the lucky child is called up to recite their joke. Lilly loves that they are called on, and come to the front for attention and laughter. She was dying to tell her own joke.
The only problem was that we had to come up with a joke. Lilly apparently came up with a funny joke which goes like this: "Q: What does a cow drink milk?" "A: Cow! hahaha" Yeah, I didn't get it either, but Lilly apparently thought it was hilarious. I tried to figure out a joke dealing with cows or milk since she really liked that kind of joke, but couldn't figure out a good one. So I diverted her to a new kind of joke: the knock knock.
We practiced, literally, for a couple weeks. Then one Monday morning I had her write it down. The whole joke. It took a whole piece of paper (she writes in very large kindergarten handwriting). She was so proud of herself, and turned her joke in when we walked into school. I warned her that she wouldn't get called on that day, it might take weeks. However, my girl, full of faith and magic, stood at the front of her line that day (usually she prefers mid to back of the line), hoping that it would be her day.
Nope, not that Monday. Tuesday, I downplayed it. I told her it would probably be the next week, and to not be disappointed. And, when it was time for the special joke of the day, the principal called... Lilly Sherman! She went to the front, proudly, stood up tall while the principal made a couple last minute announcements, and finally she told her joke.
Who's there? the entire school responded
She was so proud of herself. The entire gym laughed and clapped and enthusiastically responded to my girl. Not because it was hilarious but because they love her and it is a cute little joke coming out of a 6 year old. Lilly was on top of the world.
Since then she talks about that morning a lot. It made a huge impression. She felt important, and funny. And her school makes such a big deal about making her an integral part of the school - not because of who she is or despite who she is, but just because she's a normal kid and they love her. And we love this school that gives so much back to Lilly each day.