Every day that I am chaplain at the southside school, I first check in with the cafeteria manager and pay for my lunch. This takes place during kindergarten lunch so I often see these munchkins coming and going. They head out to the playground just as the first and second graders come in the other side of the cafeteria.
The first graders are my initial responsibility so I spend most of lunch time with them. Last week I had a second grader, who was at the miscreant table, ask why I didn’t read stories to the second graders. He was disappointed to learn that I only go into first grade classrooms.
Today, as I was leaving the first grade wing, after reading my story for the day, the kindergartners were marching through the hallway on their way home. I stood and watched them, keeping a bit of order while teachers caught up from the back of the lines. Many of the kids recognized me, and they said hi as they passed me. One little girl, coming along with her group, stops in front of me, points to me, turns around to the girl behind her and says, “This is my friend.” So, now I am friend to a kindergartner whose name I don’t even know. Hopefully, she will be one of the first graders next year and I will know her name.