This Beautiful Inheritance: Small Town Life: Twenty Plus Years of Mother's Day Out

Friday, January 25, 2013

Small Town Life: Twenty Plus Years of Mother's Day Out

When I was just three years old, I started attending "Mother's Day Out" at the local First Baptist Church. The program gives moms a much-needed "Day Out" by allowing them to drop their little ones off for fun, lunch and learning. From what my mom has told me, I was THRILLED to spend each Tuesday in a real "classroom," learning, playing with friends, and feeling like a big girl. Though my memory isn't the best, I do have a few memories from those two pre-school years. I remember snacks, the smell of Kool-Aid, plastic mats for nap time, and getting to hammer real nails into a real tree stump. (Pretty sure times have changed. I do not see that activity being allowed in a preschool class these days!)

This was my fifth birthday. My mom sent cupcakes and party sacks to MDO.
I like how these photos look Instagrammed, but actually they're just for real vintage...

Apparently these are the only photos that remain from my days at Mother's Day Out (at least in our possession). Since my memory isn't the best, these photos are the memory. I LOVE looking at these photos because they include little faces that travelled with me to elementary school, junior high and high school. And my best friend was even my roommate in college! That's the way we roll in small towns. A handful of kids may move away or start late, but for the most part, you'll toss your flat green hat into the air with the same kids who shared your birthday cupcakes at "Mother's Day Out."

I know. It's crazy.

This week, my kids started "Mother's Day Out" too. Eden had never been so excited in her whole life. She is just like I was at her age, raring to go learn and spend the day with friends. I told Eden about "play school" a week before she started (big mistake on my part), and for the next seven days, I had to answer the question, "Is Play School TODAY?!?!?!?!"

When the day finally arrived, Eden was the cutest thing ever. With her big pink hair bow, new princess lunchbox and ear-to-ear grin, she stole her teachers' hearts upon arrival. I could tell ;)

Eden and Selah headed to their first day of "Play School"... Eden is pumped. Selah is clueless :)

After arriving at "Play School," we were directed to the kids' classrooms, and get this: Eden's room was the same. exact. one. where I remember taking naps and hammering nails into a stump. I flashed back twenty or so years when I walked in.

Eden with her friends in her new (my old) classroom
And Eden's teacher? Oh, it was just the same woman who used to babysit me, my sister and my husband back in the day. Twenty years later and she's still doing her thing.

Then I walked through the Fellowship Hall (where we celebrated my fifth birthday with cupcakes) and was directed to Selah's room. And what teacher did I find there? Another sweet old lady who kept the baby room back when my sister was the baby.

I was amazed at how much things hadn't changed.

Eden loved her first day of "Play School." I think it was everything she dreamed of... Selah cried when I left her room but stopped after a few minutes and was happy and playing when I picked her up. I had such a good feeling after their first day. Everything was so organized, so professional. The teachers obviously loved the kids. And we've already talked about their experience...


Smokey the Bear came this week to visit the kids at MDO credit: John Pressgrove
The best part, though, is that now my kids will have memories and pictures of them and their friends from way back when. Their last week of high school, when they're all sentimental and going through pictures, they'll find some of these and proudly say, "Can you believe we've all been together since Mother's Day Out?!"

And they'll be a part of a rare, small-town story that not many can tell.

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