Headlines from First Thoughts

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Wednesday, December 13-- Kindergarten Party

Advent took on a whole new meaning for the Shiell home Tuesday night. We were invaded by approximately 1800 Kindergarteners and their parents for a class Christmas party.

The groundwork for the assault was laid long before tonight. When I was growing up, we learned in American history Congress passed an obscure law in 1925 that stated, “All school parties must be held in the school classroom.” Apparently, we failed to notice the fine print: “Except at Rocky Hill Elementary in Knoxville.” Little did we know that when Kelly was crowned “Room Mother” what this new title would do to change our lives. I of course became “Room Husband,” which meant that I received ample opportunity to volunteer on Fridays and work the pickup area at the end of the day. I also discovered plenty of other chances to know the kindergarteners and their parent-enablers.

Immediately after the coronation, however, Kelly’s doc placed her on bed rest. “Relief!” I said. I would not be responsible for as much room husbanding as I thought. But somehow Kelly’s doc and Kelly were conspired to remove the bed rest restriction by Thanksgiving. To celebrate the end of bed rest, Kelly decided to actually invite the entire class over for the party. Miss Corden actually endorsed this event, because I’m sure she knew that old 1925 law was still on the books.

The first wave hit at 6:15, followed by one after another until by 6:45 the entire Dunbarton Oaks subdivision (at least this is how it felt) thundered with the sound of elephants on the 2nd floor of our home. Parker’s tree house became an outpost for another assault. Soon a football game broke out on the front lawn with all 1800 Kindergarteners. What made matters more exciting, Queen Kelly actually served a buffet of cookies, cake, candy, pretzel-thingies, hot chocolate with more sugar to put a diabetic into a coma. I’m not kidding about this part. This was a feast fit for Rachel Ray. What were they thinking?

But soon I realized that, as Miss Corden said, “This was probably the best Christmas present you could ever give Parker.” The gift of relationships can only be shared with people. The joy and fun of boys and girls conquer many fears and worries, and 5 year olds know how to spread that Christmas cheer better than anyone else. Just let them take over—cookies and all—and they will show you how to enjoy the season in ways you never thought of. I’m not sure how God will bring peace on earth, but my guess is that much like his first coming, he will start with the same laughter that only the Christ child brought and a 5 year old can bring.

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