Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Community Caring

Yesterday (Tuesday), was a difficult day for the Running Brook community. But let me rewind a few years first.

When our daughter was a preschooler and we were thinking about sending her to Running Brook, a terrible tragedy occurred very close to the school. It made me nervous. There were other things, lower test scores, high transience, that bothered us.

Very simply, we were wrong. And we knew that within minutes of setting foot into that school. Maybe the test scores aren't the highest in Howard County and Lil did have a couple friends that left. Yes, it has a high FARMS percentage. But statistics don't matter and way too many people use those numbers to make snap judgments without even opening the schoolhouse door.

The last six years have been wonderful. For many reasons. Mainly teachers who love their students and their colleagues and a great principal who loves his school and his students. I am very sad that Lil is moving onto middle school.

Back to yesterday...

One of Lil's best friends lost her daddy. Very unexpected. Very shocking. Heartbreaking and too soon. He loved his daughter so much. He was always at school, smiling his joyful smile. It is a mark of his character that the church was so full, it wasn't even standing room only. More like fire code violation crowded. The overflow parking lot overflowed.

After the service, I saw one of Lil's teachers, Melissa Peyton, who accompanied our guardian angel, Ms. Bailey, on her first field trip at age 97 and her subsequent White House visit. I gave her a hug and thanked her for all she does to make Running Brook a special community. She is such a joyful person and is such a cheerleader for the school. (To be clear, MANY of the faculty were in attendance.)

She smiled in a regretful, kinda sad way and recalled the call to action the pastor had just made during his eulogy. He had talked about the need to be good to each other and showing joy to others. Being family and keeping up relationships.

My goal is to continue being part of the Running Brook community in some way and not leaving it behind. Because it has been such a part of Lil's growth for the past six years and MY growth too. It's a special place.

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