"So," she asked me, her inflection and tone sounding very adult, "how was your holidays?"
"Oh they were very nice, thank you for asking," I replied, "I got to meet my new baby niece, and I did all kinds of fun things with the rest of my family, too. How were your holidays? Did you go to Manitoba?"
From there, we shared the things about our holidays that were exciting and that were similar. She asked a lot of questions, and wanted to know "what else did you do?" and was excited to discover we had both gone to a McDonald's with a PlayPlace. It was clear that she had been practising the art of conversation for about 4.5 years and decided to try it out on me that day.
Today, I sat in the rocking chair in the Preschool Room, and A once again climbed into my lap.
"So," she asked again, "How has your day been going?"
"Oh, my day has been great, thank you for asking," I replied, "I got to visit the Preschoolers, and I got to visit the Toddlers, and I got to visit the Preschoolers again -"
"What did you do in the office, with J?" she interrupted (J is our program director. I have been spending a lot of time doing administrative stuff for the past six months, including manual writing and policy audits, among other things).
"Well," I responded, "I sent some emails to your dad and to someone's mom, and -"
"But," she interrupted, "what did you do with J?"
"With J? Well we spent some time talking about stuff and making plans to make sure everything is good for all the kids."
"You mean... for us?" Suddenly, her face was full of awe.
"Yes, of course," I assured her, "everything we do here is for you and the other children. If it weren't for all of you, we wouldn't even be here."
"Really. This school exists to give children a place to learn and grow and to be healthy and safe. If there weren't any kids at this school, all the teachers would be somewhere else, and there wouldn't even be a school."
"Nope. Why would we make crafts if there were no kids here to make them with us and enjoy them? I'm serious; everything we do here is because we think it will help you and your friends learn and grow and be healthy and safe."
"Woah. I did not even realise that this whole entire place is here all because of us."
That's right, kid. You're that important. I hope you never forget it!