During every assembly (called Good Morning Bledsoe), the students and staff members who are celebrating a birthday are called to the stage. After everyone is assembled, the whole cafeteria (this year about 900 people) sings a cheerful birthday song, arranged by Michelle Montes, first-grade teacher extraordinaire.
I've been listening to kids and adults sing this song for six years. And, though I know it's counterintuitive, the joyful song almost always makes me a little weepy.
I think my response is a combination of things. I appreciate so much that Cooper and Katie have been able to attend one school their whole elementary school lives. (In fifth grade alone I attended three schools in three different cities.) I love the Bledsoe community, and everyone singing the same song to celebrate one another just hits me in my sentimental spot. And in the waning days of Cooper's Bledsoe career, I'm even more sentimental.
On Friday, the school began to recognize summer birthdays, so the stage was especially crowded. The range covered through June 20, so Katie was the last child called to the stage. She was thrilled to receive her annual birthday pencil and to stand in front of the big group.
|Fabulous counselor Angie Williams calls the names. Katie, in a pink hat for field day, walks across the stage.|
|Michelle Montes leads the song. When Katie wasn't singing or dancing, she was smiling.|
Cooper will be in the group recognized on May 24. I'm going in to work a little late that day. There's no way I'm missing his sixth and final time on the Bledsoe birthday stage. And I'm pretty sure that there's no way I'm going to leave without shedding a few tears.