safety patrol


The Bee achieved a lifetime ambition this week, by being appointed to the school safety patrol. This is her, looking proud, but also irritated that I am publicly demonstrating that we are related, by taking her picture while she’s trying to be cool. Note the bright yellow belt, sign of maturity and imminent promotion into the fifth grade. Not every incoming fifth grader gets to be a safety–but most of them do. I wonder how it feels for the four or five kids who don’t get to do it. Probably, it sucks a lot, though I’m sure the pain is eased by the first bitterly cold, rainy morning in the fall.

When the Bee entered kindergarten, the safeties looked so huge to my eyes. Now that I’ve got an almost-fifth-grader on my hands, it’s a little overwhelming. She’s only got one more year of elementary school, and then she’ll be off to the middle school, where she’ll again be one of the younger kids.

She has to be on her post by 8:05, and for the last couple of days, she’s stood in the kitchen, fully dressed, with her book bag and her lunch box over her shoulder, waiting for the clock to hit 8. I’m not sure what would happen if she left the house at 7:59, but she’s clearly not willing to risk being early.

I’ve had a sort of laid-back week, so the Potato and I have been walking to school. He’s been chattier than usual, since he’s not competing for airspace with his big sister. I’ve heard all about the caterpillars that they have in kindergarten now—which will build cocoons, morph into butterflies, and be released by the kindergarteners—including the one that he named, “Mr. Thousand.”

It’s nice to have the time with the Potato, time that reminds me of when I walked the Bee to school every day, when he was still in daycare. Reminds me how she would tell me things, and make up games, and generally just have private time with mom. I’ve struggled, with both my kids as they’ve grown older, to find one-on-one time to be with them. It’s nice that the Bee’s new independence gives me a little time alone with the Potato in the morning.


May 14, 2009. growing up.


  1. Jennifer replied:

    What a nice little post! I feel that way about my youngest, too. Not only is she competing with her brother for airspace, as you said, but she’s having to push out of my head all those nagging thoughts of the million and one things I have remaining to do in a day. Somehow when I had just the one child, or one + a baby, I was able to focus more on the child.

  2. Library Lady replied:

    Doing safety patrol would require that JR actually understand the concept of getting to school on time in the morning, which she doesn’t, so I’m glad this wasn’t on her ambition list. The same went for the school TV program!

    Man, the Bee looks grown up. You are so lucky to still have the younger one–JR turns 10 next week and she’s my BABY :/

  3. jackie replied:

    I have been thinking about this a lot lately– I haven’t had one-on-one time with either of my girls lately and I’m starting to really feel like it’s a necessity, now that they are getting older. It’s so tricky to manage, but I’m going to make a renewed effort this summer, I hope.

  4. the five-year mark « Bumblebee Sweet Potato replied:

    […] In May, I took a step back and wrote two posts about ten things I love about each kid. We had some major emotional breakthroughs in our house, which were difficult for everyone. And on the cusp of fifth grade, the Bee got made a safety. […]

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