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Greening friendships

Preschool-grads Today is bittersweet. My youngest and Heather's graduated from preschool. Having put each of our two kids through the program, our families have been there for 4 years. If not for the preschool, it's uncertain if Heather and I would ever have become friends. It started with a hand-shake deal in a neighboring park that went something like this:

Heather: Hi, so, um, remember me? My daughter went to daycare with your friend Stacey's daughter? You are Renee, right?
Renee: Yes. Oh yeah. You're that Heather. So are you still working?
Heather: Nope, but I'm thinking of doing a co-op preschool next year. What are you thinking? We could trade babysitting of our little ones on our help days. What do you think?
Renee: Are you crazy? I don't know you from Adam! Get away from me you looney!

Well, that's not really what I said. I had a good feeling about that Heather, and it's worked out rather well. Some of it I won't miss. Four years is a long time. Cleaning that old church basement -- that with no amount of scrubbing ever really looked clean. But I am pleased to say that in the years we were there, it did become an OEC certified 'Eco-Healthy Childcare.' Not to take too much credit, as this was a process of many steps with many parents involved -- but I'm pretty sure Heather was the first person to bring up the possibility to the preschool board.

In addition to the greening of the school, the preschool payoffs have been huge. We met a family that invited us (along with Heather's) on our first camping trips with kids. Aside from the killer mosquitoes one summer, they were fabulous experiences -- that went a long way in encouraging our Outdoor Kids efforts. No question, our kids have become great friends, as have we. Heather and I? Gosh, she's like my other half, the sister I never had. We certainly wouldn't have started EnviroMom and gone on this green journey had we not become friends first via the preschool. I'm pretty sure I would not have done any of this on my own. Having a best friend to cheer me on, teach me and laugh with me? And to give me the opportunity to do the same? We're lucky. Really lucky. Blessed.

Graduation Day? Call it 'Gratitude Day' for me. After what seems like a million baby steps, I hardly recognize the person I was 4 years ago, before this green friendship started. I realize this preschool 'ending' is really a beginning of something new. So I'll keep my hanky handy, dab my happy tears, and embrace the green journey that lies ahead. Thank you children for putting up with the crazy ideas of your wacky EnviroMoms. Thank you Heather! And thank you readers for your presence, comments and support! 

Wishing everyone a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!!

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