I spent the whole day with Mom, because I didn't have to work. We picked the Evan and Lauren up from school and let them spend the next hour and a half playing on their newly renovated, re-opened school playground while we waited for Tobin's after-school activity to let out.
The kids' school playground is a wonderful place. Since Tobin's first year at the school, I've watched my kids play on this playground for the better part of five years--really, I've watched them grow up on it. The recent, months-long renovation was a tremendous community effort, led primarily by a small group of parent volunteers who did everything from grant writing to project management.
As I watched the kids play today, I couldn't help but think of who wasn't there: Tobin's friend Leo, who would have been a fifth grader also. Leo died tragically in an accident over the holiday break in December 2013. In the worst moment of their lives, Leo's parents graciously requested memorial donations be made to the school's PTA. Those memorial donations started a fund that would eventually, two and a half years later, grow large enough to underwrite a major renovation of Leo's favorite play area. You can read more about the project here. I'm grateful to be part of a school community like this and thankful for a beautiful day like today, when my kids can run and play in the sunshine with their friends in a place that feels like home.