Take a moment and picture this in your mind’s eye:
It is August, 2006, and the day has arrived for two wide eyed — and slightly nervous — parents to take their daughter to Kindergarten Orientation. This orientation, truth be told, is for the parents, not the children, but while we are being taught the ins and outs of kindergarten, our children — or in our case, Sophie — would leave the multi-purpose center and go to one of the kindergarten classrooms to see what life in the classroom was like.
We knew that Sophie would be going to this classroom, but we also knew that she was nervous — and she did NOT want to go. However, we explained that it would be okay, that she would have fun, and she grudgingly was the last one down the aisle to head to the front to head out to the classroom. I could tell that she was stressed — her shoulders were scrunched up, the tension was just radiating off of her, and I didn’t think it was going to be a good time for her.
But then, as she approached Mrs. Keech, who was waiting for her to leave so she could continue, she saw her — and you could SEE the tension just slip away. I literally saw her take a deep breath, her shoulders relaxed, and she walked right up to Mrs. Keech and said “Hi, my name is Sophie.” Mrs. Keech, being the saint that she is, proceeded to say “Hi, Sophie, my name is Mrs. Keech. Can I take you over here so you can go play in the classroom?” From that moment on, Sophie and Mrs. Keech were best buds.
Halfway through Kindergarten, Sophie — who carpools to school — got out of the car, gave Mrs. Keech the big hug she always gets, and told Cindy “Mrs. Keech is my BFF!” Of course, Cindy wasn’t sure if this was a good thing or a bad thing — was Mrs. Keech the BFF because Sophie was in trouble a lot and always in the office? Or was the fact that Mrs. Keech was Sophie’s BFF a good thing because she would keep an eye out for her? Turns out the latter was the case here.
Mrs. Keech was Sophie’s Principal from K-4th grade (well about halfway through 4th grade) — but then the unthinkable happened — Mrs. Keech got a promotion to be the principal of a middle school, and Sophie would have a new principal for the first time in her school career.
5th Grade was a challenge a little bit, because things were done to prep the kids for 6th grade and middle school, but overall, it was a good year, and Sophie passed her end of grade tests with flying colors. The school that we were looking at going to was an all-girls leadership academy, and while we did get on the waitlist for the school, it wasn’t meant to be, so we picked a different school. This particular school has a STEM focus, which means that it focuses on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, which is four areas that Sophie excels at, so we applied for that school, and got accepted. Perhaps the best news of all about that school — the principal was Mrs. Keech!
We went to 6th grade orientation in August of this past year, and Sophie was so excited! We would get to see her new school, get her schedule, meet her teachers, see her classrooms, and so forth. But the best thing of all — Sophie would get to see Mrs. Keech again! When they saw one another, it was like nothing had ever changed — Sophie ran over to Mrs. Keech and gave her a huge hug, and I could see that Mrs. Keech — well, she had a tear in her eye at seeing her Sophie (Mrs. Keech only has boys at home, so there’s a bond between her and Sophie!)
The BFFs were reunited once again!
You know, we tried really hard to get Sophie into the girls leadership academy, but it wasn’t in God’s plan for Sophie. God knows all, of course, and He KNEW that Sophie was meant to have Mrs. Keech there for her to lean on as needed. Certainly, at a middle school, the principal has a different set of duties, and Sophie doesn’t interact with her as much — but as a parent, it is very reassuring to know that there is someone at school that has the best interests of your child at heart, and while we know that Mrs. Keech does that for all of her kids, as she calls them, we also know that the number of people that knew her when she was the principal of Sophie’s elementary school is a very short list — and Sophie is at the top of that list.
6th Grade hasn’t been as smooth a transition as we would have liked, but I can guarantee if we didn’t have Mrs. Keech there, it would have been a lot harder for us — and especially for Sophie.
So today, I give thanks to God for Mrs. Keech, who has to have the tough demeanor of a middle school principle, but inside, has the heart and soul of an angel.
As you all know, Friendship Friday is the brainchild of my dear friend Heidi from Heidi’s Head! To see who she is highlighting today, go ahead and click on the image below, and thanks for stopping by!