Wandering the halls of the local high school is a normal occurence for me. No, I'm not a teacher, or an administrator. I don't substitute or volunteer. I'm just a coach. I've been coaching the swim team there for more than a decade and during that time I have been a frequent visitor at the school, often with a child in tow.
Yesterday, after picking my son up from preschool, I had several errands to run at the high school. Coincidentally, he attends preschool in the early childhood education classroom at the same high school where I coach. Together we went into the front office where one of his preschool teachers serves as an office aide. She saw us walk in and shouted out a greeting to Luke as we passed by. As I approached the finance office, the athletic director's assistant heard my son's little voice and called out for him to come visit her. He did. After all, she always has candy on her desk.
We then left the office, my son carrying his funsize candy bar in his little hand, and headed through the cafeteria where a lunch shift was just beginning. Every five seconds someone shouted out, "Hi, Luke!" Though Luke is often on the shy side, he waved at several of them, saying "hi" to others. After my three-year-old greeted several of his teenage friends (and one of my swimmers greeted me), we went into the library so I could check out some needed equipment. We were barely in the door when someone sitting at a nearby table looked up and said, "Hi, Luke."
At this point I'm wondering what's going on. Granted this child has spent much of his life in the halls of the high school, but usually the greetings are from people I know, and it's usually my name being called out. My son only started preschool last week, and he is already being treated like the most popular kid in school.
I realize that he has already been in the high school yearbook a couple of times (the swimmers insisted he be in their team picture), and several of my swimmers on the boys team figured out early on that having a baby around was a sure way to attract girls, but still! As I'm laughing to myself about my three-year-old's sudden popularity, my oldest daughter appeared in front of us. She was in the library studying with her history class and offered to take Luke for me while I talked to the librarian. I gladly took her up on her offer.
With my hands now free, I took care of my business, learned how to use the equipment needed for a rules clinic that evening and headed back into the library where my son was happily sitting next to his sixteen-year-old sister. I scooped him up, thanked my daughter for her help, and headed for the door. I hesitated for a moment at the counter to thank the librarian. The words "you're welcome" were barely out of his mouth when the aide standing next to him looked up and said, "Oh, hi Luke."