Jun 17, 2005

Lawn Party

I live minutes away from my old elementary school. I pass by it several times a week and I always experience that pang of nostalgia because some of my happiest childhood memories came from going to school there.

Recently they added a spiffy new marquee sign on the front lawn which has announcements like, "Happy Memorial Day" or "Don't forget to Read!" To me, the sign looks really out of place given it's newness set against the backdrop of a school that hasn't had many structural changes over the past 25 years. (I wouldn't be surprised to find that old bird's nest still tucked away near the recess bell if I cared to look more closely...)

But yesterday I experienced a change of heart because it said simply, "Lawn Party" and suddenly I was flooded with all the great memories of my six years spent at Lincoln Street School.

Lawn Party's were my favorite part of school aside from the White Elephant Tables during Christmas! Lawn Party Day was great simply for the sheer anticipation of what you could do with your friends outside once classes ended.

Mother's would make trays of carefully decorated cup cakes and we could gorge ourselves on penny candy, slices of watermelon, fruit punch and hot dogs. It was the ONLY time the school allowed us to play with silly abandon on the huge side lawn rather than the blacktop out back with the line dividing the boys from the girls.

For me, Lawn Party was about hanging out all day with my best friend Lisa. We didn't spend our time on lawn games or other silly things that would amuse most kids. Lisa was the type of friend who took delight in making me laugh so hard that milk would painfully shoot out my nose. Her dad worked as the janitor of the school and somehow I remember that she was cooler because of it.

But since all good parties must come to an end-Lawn Party signified the end of the school year and the beginning of summer vacation.

If you were in 5th grade, Lawn Party was the day you could let it all hang out because you were officially in 6th grade next year. This meant no one could boss you around. 6th grade meant our time had finally come to lord over the entire student body and we still had a whole year to worry about taking showers with the big kids once we hit middle school.

I love that I live so close to Lincoln Street School. Seeing that old brick building reminds me of how far I've come in life since being a big sixth grader on Lawn Party Day.

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