Wednesday, October 07, 2009

On Duty

Fourth graders at my school have the opportunity to join the Safety Team.  Team members are responsible for helping their fellow students and serving as leaders within the Lower School.  Last spring, when he was first advised of the opportunity to apply to join the team, my 9 year old told me that it wasn't for him.  He said it was too much responsibility; I suspected it was the specter of possible rejection that caused his application hesitation.  But I said it was his call and I let the matter rest.

This fall,  fourth graders interested in joining the Safety Team were asked to write the principal a letter in which they outlined the ways in which they were prepared to be a responsible member of the team.  To my surprise, JT decided to give it a try.  Consumed by the spirit, he wrote Mrs. R a thoughtful letter in which he outlined the ways in which he was already a responsible 9 year old and could also be a responsible member of the Safety Team.  He submitted the application and then eagerly waited for his interview with Mrs. R.  That interview was last Friday and JT spent the weekend in a fire of excitement.  Would he make the team?  On Monday morning, the news was delivered: he'd made the team!

My boy was proudly wearing his Safety Team badge when I picked him up after school that day and he was filled with the fire of responsibility.  That night, he called Grandma and Grandpa and breathlessly shared the details of his triumph.  We celebrated with some chocolate cake for dessert and I reminded him that I was proud he had taken the risk and applied in the first place.  His pride and excitement was so palpable that I wondered if he would even be able to fall asleep that night.  The next morning, he grabbed a school shirt to wear and then carefully put on his Safety Team badge.

When we pulled into the parking lot at school on Tuesday morning, JT straightened his collar, pulled out his badge, and announced that he was "on duty."  I can't be sure, but I think he was just a bit taller as he walked to class.  


Shark Butt said...

Congratulations JT and his proud Mama!

Jason said...

That's an admirable responsibility - hooray for JT and hooray for safety!

Shelley said...

No fair making me cry!