When my oldest son was in second grade and my youngest was in kindergarten, they asked that I bring popsicles to school on the last day.
Of course, I couldn’t exclude their friends in the other classes. The teachers returned the leftover popsicles, and we took them to the park to share with friends and random kids before they melted.
At first, kids looked at me like it was a trick when they finished their popsicle, and I told them to eat more before they all melted. The kids said it was a great way to start summer break. They asked if we could take popsicles to the park again the following year. Just like that a tradition was born!
When my youngest moved on to middle school, Sarah Walenga was taking over as PTO President and after experiencing her first Popsicles in the Park, she said she wanted to continue the tradition. I thought it was a nice gesture.
Last year, I was pleasantly surprised when she sent me pictures and said she loved the tradition that has continued over the years. I realized that 2019 would mark the tenth year! That’s when I told my kids we HAVE to go back on the last day of school and invite their friends that used to meet us there.
We were so happy to see a bunch of the “big kids” return to join the littles for popsicles and a group picture to celebrate a ten year tradition! They didn’t act too cool for the little kids. They started playing soccer in the grass with a group of kids, while other big kids jumped on the swings, merry-go-round and teeter totter and encouraged the little kids to join them. As you looked across the park, you didn’t notice any age differences, you just saw genuine fun and happiness!
Mrs. Gumm even walked down to the park to wish the kids a great summer (and sigh at how tall her former little kids had grown).
I want to publicly thank Sarah for continuing the tradition and all she has brought to the PTO, NP Soccer Club and everything else that she jumps into with both feet! She is irreplaceable and I’m sure Olive will miss her greatly next year.
I also want to thank Aiden R, Jacen R, Sydney M, Skylar D, Tyler G, Konnor M, Casey K, Julie O, Jamileh C and Chris H for not rolling their eyes and being too cool to go along with my corny ideas and sentimental heart.