I picked up my oldest cherub from school this afternoon. ‘Hey, mom, I had fun at Cafe Amigo today,’ he reported. Excited to share a snippet of his day with me.
Cafe Amigo is a monthly celebration at the Gort’s school during which students with exemplary behavior in the lunchroom get to eat their lunch on stage. And get a treat afterwards. It’s certainly a minor honor, but I have to confess I felt a small surge of pride when we received the note that our six year old would sit on the stage. With his peers. And get treats. Because he ate lunch in a civilized manner.
But the Gort’s announcement caught me off-guard. We’d received the note…in October. He’d already sat upon the stage…in October. Why on earth would the kid get recognized twice in as many months for his lunchtime etiquette?
‘What do you mean you had fun at Cafe Amigo?’ I asked. Perplexed. ‘Did you sit on the stage at lunch today?’ I investigated. He nodded his head. ‘But why didn’t we get a letter [informing us of this remarkable achievement]?’ I persisted. ‘I don’t know,’ he shrugged, ‘maybe they forgot.’
‘That’s great,’ I enthused, ‘I’m sorry we didn’t know about it.’ (It might have been nice to make a big deal about it. Or get some sort of bumper sticker for the car-van.)
‘Well,’ he continued, ‘you told me you had signed me up for it.’ And then I stopped in my snow-covered tracks. ‘I signed you up for the special pita sandwich lunch. Which is tomorrow. Friday. The 17th.’ [You don’t sign people up for Cafe Amigo! It’s an honor! A privilege!]
‘Oh,’ he mused with an embarrassed smile, ‘I must have gotten mixed up.’
‘So, you went to the lunchroom supervisors and told them you were supposed to sit on the stage today?’ I asked in a mortified-amused voice, ‘even though they didn’t call your name?’
It’s the first-grade equivalent of showing up at a swanky night club and arguing with the bouncer that your name really is on the list.