This is a different kind of Flashback Friday.

Most weeks, I dig into the archives and pull up an old post. (Haven’t seen it? It’s new to you!) But here’s a fair warning: this may be the first of several “new breed” of flashbacks coming over the next few weeks.

You see, my firstborn graduates high school five weeks from today. Jacob is thrusting us down memory lane while taking us through a series of “firsts” like we’ve never experienced before, and last night was one of those.

Jacob’s elementary school hosts an annual Senior Night. It’s a chance for their former students to come back to their old stomping grounds one last time before they wrap up their high school years. Last night was an absolutely amazing experience as we reconnected with old friends and caught up with kids we knew way back when.

We moved to the community halfway through Jacob’s second grade year, and his elementary school became home for our family for the next nine and a half years. All three of our boys went through the system, and we have incredibly fond memories of our time in the hallways, in the classrooms, and on the rec fields.

Because of the relatively small student body, everyone was able to take the stage last night and tell their post-high school plans plus a favorite memory from their elementary school days. It was a blast from the past: one of the last times I saw most of those kids on stage, they were dressed as reindeer or elves for a Christmas program. Now they’re practically adults, getting ready to major in biology or graphic design or business or who knows what else. They were poised, articulate, sometimes funny, and seemed ready to take on the world.

I’m thankful for an elementary school that would take time out of a busy end-of-year schedule to honor their former students. I’m grateful for the staff there that have proven time and time again that teaching isn’t just a job, it’s a calling. I’m proud of the friendships our boys made there and the memories they’ll carry with them for life. And yep, I’m still shaking my head wondering how the second grader who walked in that building is now a senior who’ll soon be walking across a stage.

So for today’s Flashback Friday, a question: what’s your favorite elementary school memory? Comment below.