When your son returns to visit his elementary school; Botanic Garden follow-up

Today, Jack had a day off from 5th grade as the middle school teachers wrote report cards. (I have regularly been amazed by the thought that goes into my kids reports and am very appreciative. So even though I could have used today, go forth teachers and write! And thank you!) 

In any case, as Oliver still had school, we all decided to park and do a quick visit as Jack has been back to the lower school just once since graduating from 4th last June. He'd spent six years on that campus and was so excited by the prospect of seeing his former teachers.

Our quick visit turned into the happiest hour-long reunion. I felt so lucky to be there, to see my boy glow with love and memory and appreciation. His comfort was palpable. It's the sort that comes from having been deeply happy and known somewhere. Of having been a real part of a tightly-knit, sincere community. Of having always been appreciated for just who he is. I wish all children had such educational experiences.

In his 3rd grade classroom, he was invited into the gathering circle by his teachers, Elizabeth and Sarah (see middle right and bottom two pics below). Those two could be a wildly successful comedic duo but, fortunately, decided to be educators, and Jack's year with them was stellar.

Also, they're fashionable, and I learned some tips from them. And laughed pretty much every time we crossed paths. I would happily hang with those two on a Friday night. And don't even get me started on 4th grade. It was also insanely stellar. And full(!) of laughter, both in class and when I saw the teachers. So much happiness everywhere at school. Thank god Oliver is still there for 2.5 years (one of his fab teachers is the woman in the top two pics; she and Jack got to know each other last year in Homework Club).

Classes did start and we did need to leave and so we did. Remember the cool Junior Botanist program we did at the US Botanic Garden this past summer? And then remember how Jack sent all of his work in and received a certificate and all kinds of swag and an invitation to visit the Botanic Garden's growing facilities which are otherwise open to the public just one day a year?

I remembered this invitation two days ago and was amazed to find that the botanist we were encouraged to contact, Kyle, was free today. To the greenhouses Jack and I went. And for 2.5 hours we stayed. Kyle was in no rush, and it was such a fantastic and educational experience. Check out a sampling of the pics I snapped. 

 Jack tastes a toothache plant. Tingly!

Jack tastes a toothache plant. Tingly!

 The nectar is SO sweet.

The nectar is SO sweet.