The best perk of the Mount Lebanon school district is that in 2016 it was ranked amongst one of the best 100 school districts in the United States by Niche. We’ve only been here for a few months, but I can already see the major positive differences between this school district and where Ruben used to attend back in Florida. Other than how academics are taught and structured they get a lot more recess time and my favorite and what I want to talk about is that the kids have the option to go home for their one hour lunch break. FYI: Mount Lebanon is a suburb of Pittsburgh, PA.
It seems so minor, but I want to be able to look back at this blog when he’s older and read how much I enjoyed his company and seeing his little cute face a few times a week. When we first moved we had decided that he’d come home for lunch everyday, but that lasted for about two weeks. I remember his words so clearly, “Mom, I don’t want to hurt your feelings, but I want to have lunch with some of my friends sometimes too.” I reassured him that my feelings were not hurt at all! On the contrary, I was so happy to hear that he was transitioning so well. Although my feelings weren’t hurt it was a moment for me in this journey of mommyhood. It was a small indication that my son is growing up and becoming much more independent. My heart definitely felt tugged and a little ache. Anyways, Ruben decided that he’d walk home twice a week for lunch. I’ll add that we literally live across the street from his school so the commute is a very fast and easy one! Shout out to no more car lines! At least for the next two years or so.
The first thing I enjoy is seeing him come out of the front doors of the school and start running towards the house. I literally smile and take it in. To think there was a time when he was so little that he couldn’t even walk and then when he learned he’d waddle around. Now here he is, almost 9, jumping some of the steps that are right outside of those school front doors and running pretty fast towards home.
Although we live close he’s way too in a hurry to notice me waiting for him until he’s about 5 or 6 houses away. I can see him leaving and running on over just by standing outside of my house in the front yard. When he does notice me oh it’s just the sweetest and my 2nd favorite thing about him coming home for lunch. I can see him smile from ear to ear. He starts to run faster and the best part: his arms are wide open ready to hug me. And that’s just what happens. He hugs me around my waist with his little arms and I kiss the top of his head realizing that sooner than later he’ll be too tall for me to do that. I really take it in because even though he’ll be 9 already he’s still young enough to get as happy to see me as he did when was 2. I realize one more thing: sooner than later he won’t be this excited to see me and even if he is he definitely won’t show it to me this way.
Once inside the house the first thing he does is pet and spend some time with his cat, Zoey. Our poor dog has been pushed to the sidelines! For lunch he’ll usually ask for a turkey sandwich or a hotdog on a bun. Some of the sides include vanilla Greek yogurt, lays chips or tator tots. It leaves me thinking when his palate will start to change or if it ever will! Hah.
My third favorite thing is when we spend some time chatting about his morning at school while eating. Sometimes it’s a conversation full of detail and some pretty awesome laughs (I may be biased but my kid can be pretty hilarious!) and other times it’s a simple few short sentence summary. The nicest part is that he usually asks how my day has been and what I’ve done. It gives me all the feels when I see that one of the characteristics that he’s growing into is finding out how others are doing.
It’s only an hour long so I try to make sure that I don’t do anything other than be with him while he’s there. Even if it’s just me sitting right by him reading while he plays with his little sister or watching a YouTube clip with him about severe weather. Yea, it’s his thing now for a few years – says he wants to be a storm chaser when he grows up. Oh boy! I’m simply grateful for these moments because well we all know too well that sweet ordinary moments like these aren’t something we should take for granted – especially as parents. It simply goes by too too fast.
I love you mi niño! To many more at home lunches 🙂
Niche Link for Best School Districts in America