Friday, July 27, 2007

Dear friend

At Bud's school, new classroom placement is distributed to students in their report cards as they leave the building on the last day of school, so there is very little opportunity for kids or parents to compare notes and figure out who will be where in the coming year unless they run into each other during the summer. So, like the rest of the soon-to-be-second-grade families, we've been keeping our eyes out for Bud's first-grade friends when we're out and about in town to try to get the scoop on how his second-grade classroom has shaped up.

As I've written before, Bud's first grade classroom was magical. The other children were big fans of Bud, and he returned their affection wholeheartedly. If the whole gang of them could have moved together to a new classroom, I would have been downright delighted. What we've discovered as we've talked to friends around town, though, is that most of the other children from Bud's class have landed in one of the other three second grade classrooms. Parents are speculating that the mix is intentional, so that by the time our children have made it through to the regional middle school, they will know all of the other children from their own elementary school. And, honestly, I trust Bud's team implicitly and I know that they had a hand in pupil placement. I'm certain they have created a good nest for Bud, so, really, my worries are few.

But one child we haven't run into this summer is Bud's very best friend from first grade, Kelly. Kelly is the child who greeted Bud every morning when we entered the classroom. Each night, when I asked him who he played with at recess or ate with at snack, hers was always the first name I heard. So, naturally, I wondered where Kelly had landed in the second-grade shake-up.

My questions were answered recently when a letter arrived in the mail for Bud. On top of a full page drawing of a girl and her family enjoying a day at the beach were the following words in perfect seven-year-old scrawl:

Dear Bud I am
in Mrs. Connemara's
class Iam wudring
iF you are.

Love Kelly

P.S. Iam having
Fun are you?

I have a
lose toth!

Bud played it cool when he read Kelly's letter, but I could tell he was happy to get it. I suggested several times that he write back, but each time he told me that he'd do it later. Tonight I pushed a little harder, and Bud sat down at the computer, put Kelly's letter next to the keyboard for reference, and wrote back:

Deer kelly
I am in mrs connemarals class. I am wuodering if you
love Bud ps I am having fun are you? Call
193256906788216789 be your Bud

Buuuuup be be be dooooo wop buuuuuuup bee
booodoo seeeeeeeeeeee4wweweweeebrbrbvwioop
qewvxsdooooo buuuup beee beee

I asked Bud for clarification on some of the finer points. Had he left out some words?, I wondered to myself.

"Bud, what are you wondering? 'I am wondering if you...'"

"I am wondering if you love Bud."

Okay. So clarified.

"And 'Call 193256906788216789 be your Bud'? What do you want Kelly to do?"

"Hug me."


After a bit more clarification, I added notes in the margin to let Kelly know that the long string of digits is a pretend phone number and that the second paragraph is a song. But, the fact is, Kelly probably doesn't need the clarification the way I did. She might guess what each thing is on her own, but even if she didn't, it probably wouldn't matter to her. She'd probably just laugh with recognition of Bud's unique and quirky style.

Because that's just how it is with friends.


Niksmom said...

OMG, I am going to cry at how utterly sweet that whole letter thing is! And they are in the same class...YIPPEEEEEE! I've had a tough day adn this just made me smile... a lot. :-D

Penny L. Richards said...

Got a seven-year-old heading into second grade here too--we don't learn classroom placements till the day before school starts, the rolls are posted on the walls at a pizza party in the school cafeteria. I hope my girl gets to be somebody's "Kelly."

Anonymous said...

OMG - that is so precious. My Aspie dd is still in preschool. I pray every night for a "Kelly" for her in school. So happy for Bud. Love your blog. Missy

Anonymous said...

so awesome. what a great post. made me smile : ) thanks!

Mom without a manual said...

I think it sounds like you have a school angel who was looking out for Bud regarding placement!

I am also hoping that there are enough "Kelly's" to go around for all of us!

Club 166 said...

Happy to hear of Bud's good fortune.

And starting to get a gnawing in my stomach worrying if our Buddy Boy's 2nd grade placement will go as well.


kristen spina said...

I wish we were lucky enough to have a kelly. I'm happy for Bud and glad to know you are both heading into 2nd grade with a warm hand to hold.

Stimey said...

So heartwarming. I love kid perspective on things.

Steve said...

It's posts like this one which remind me why yours is always the first blog I read.

There are so many wonderful things in this story, but I think my favorite is that Kelly's parents went through with mailing her letter to Bud. How many of us would have gone that extra step?

kristina said...

that's what friends are 4444444444444444!

Anonymous said...

My eyes are misty with tears of joy for Bud. Thanks for sharing this wondeful story!

Anonymous said...

I think it's great the team recognized that Kelly is part of the team too. I've been busy wudering about 2nd grade placement too and hoping to hell that Milena is in my boy's class.

Mom said...

Charlie has a wonderful friend named Tessa. He just loves her. I hope that they are in class together again. I loved Bud's note. I knew what he meant right off the bat too.

Maddy said...

Friends and friendship - what more could we possibly want?
Best wishes

Anonymous said...

Oh my, that is spectacular. What a guy. What a gal. I'm so happy for them that they'll be together!

Anonymous said...

From this side of the desk:
Each year our teachers look at each of the kids to make balanced classes. We look at: work habits, maturity level, social issues( ie. established personality conflicts OR personal bonding) and classroom size.
Every effort is made to make sure that each child has at least one "buddy" to make the transition with. I know that for my classes, I tried to make sure a good core of kids who were supportive followed my integrated kids. We also made sure that each child was introduced to new kids and new staff.

I am thrilled Bud's friend is with him. And watch, given their already established bond, others will want to join in very quickly.

Our school district is not so nice. We do not give out class lists until the assembly bell on the first day. Makes for an interesting first day of school let me tell you.

Anonymous said...

I'd be completely smitten by such a love letter. Precious.

KAL said...

This made me smile. How wonderful that he'll be with his friend. I can only hope for a couple of our own Kelly friends come fall...

Anonymous said...

How sweet! I am happy for Bud. I am thankful that I have known since last spring who my child's second grade teacher will be. I got the "you didn't hear this from me, but..." whisper in my ear from the autism teacher. I know there will be another girl on the spectrum there, too. It has been such an unusual summer for me, not having this gnawing anxious fear the whole time about what was in store for us next. It makes things so much easier.

Daisy said...

You are rather lucky to know his placement in advance. In our district, we do the tentative lists in the spring, but there can be changes right up until the lists are posted, one week before classes begin. We find we have to do that because as numbers change, so do our teacher assignments and class configurations.

Anonymous said...

that is the CUTEST!!! i love it!

Angel The Alien said...

That is just BEAUTIFUL... I hope they will be able to stay friends forever!

Angie @ Many Little Blessings said...

How wonderful!

My to-be second grader is not in a class with the buddy that he was typically hanging out with at the end of the year (a new arrival to the school). But, he is in class with a few girls from the past school year, including one who was very, very sweet to him and really relished in his accomplishments.