“Mah-cah, Mah-cah, Ma-cah.” The chorus of toddlers chanting Micah’s name is music to my ears when I drop him off at Kids ‘R’ Kids each morning. Micah’s ritual is to scan the room and identify his friends as he takes a seat for breakfast. He says, “Secsa, Bray-bray, Ma-ma, Lam, Rah-ee.” For those who don’t speak toddler, allow me to translate: Alexa, Braylon, Maya, Liam, and Rylee. These are the members of his breakfast club. We can rely on seeing their smiling faces and LOUD squeals each morning.
Lexie, one of the founding members of Micah’s crew, recently made the transition to the two-year- old class. Lexie is Micah’s favorite girl; in fact, her name was one of his first words, “Seccsee.” (Yes, it sounds as inappropriately cute when spoken as it does in print!) Lexie and Micah were crib neighbors back in the infant room. He has grown an affinity towards her. I would often log-in to the webcams and see them walking around the room hand-in-hand. His teachers had to rearrange their naptime mat configuration to accommodate Micah’s penchant for Lexie. When it was time to sleep, he would hover over near her mat and say her name over and over again. No matter how many times they brought him back to his sleep space, he would continue this cycle of pointing at his sleeping friend with a huge grin on his face. When they placed her mat closer to his, he began sleeping better. There’s nothing like having a friend near to help you catch a much-needed nap! When Lexie moved next door, Micah would stand at the door and say, “Where’d Lexie go?” as he watched her play and learn in the next classroom. Thank goodness for glass walls. I don’t know what he would have done if he couldn’t see her.
After a few days, the teachers reported Micah had stopped gawking and adjusted to his new role in the classroom as the oldest child. When I arrived to pick him up one evening, Ms. Mya handed me his updated learning portfolio to peruse. It was heartwarming for me to see documentation of his relationships with his friends. My favorite photograph showed Micah and little Maya patting the back of one of their classmates when it was time to wake-up from nap. This is a side of him I don’t often get to see since there are no other children at our home. I’m grateful he goes to a school where they place value on his social-emotional development and track it alongside his academic growth. Hubby and I would love for Micah to crack the code to cold fusion, but most importantly we want him to be a good person with kindness in his heart. I’m grateful that his school understands and emphasizes this.
Much like in the morning, Micah has established a routine that involves his friends when we depart from school each day. After he greets me and we gather his belongings, he walks over to each of his friends and gives them a hug. Now believe me when I say, there is nothing cuter than watching one-year-olds embracing each other. They stand cheek-to-cheek with their arms around each other and their little booties sticking out. My heart smiles each time I witness these little people bid adieu to one another. They might not know or remember each other in ten years, but I know that these relationships are invaluable. They are establishing their own definitions of friendship and compassion. I’m so proud of my little man and his desire to be a good friend and connect with others. I don’t think we’ll have to worry about any stalking in the future!