I made a table centerpiece by stacking some books in the center and then scattering crayons the length of the table runner. This year's hats were cone party-hats that I'd written "Listen, Listen!" on. They always love the hats.
We made homemade fortune cookies this year and tucked in our own "fortunes". Thing 1's fortune was "You will make other people in your class happy!" Thing 2's was "You will make a great new friend this year!" The Munchkin's was "You will be the best singer in your class!" And me? I will, apparently, be mastering the art of cartwheels. (Recipe for fortune cookies here. The only thing I changed was to add a little bit of water and dip them in melted chocolate.)
All of this celebrating to go along with a primary song that goes "Listen to the still small voice-- listen, listen! When you have to make a choice, He will guide you, always."
There are lots of ways that my children need to learn to listen. They will need to listen to their teachers when they say it's time to clean it up. Get it out. Line up. Get ready to go home. They will need to listen to their peers to navigate the intricate ins and outs of making childhood friends. I hope they have listened--really listened--when I've told them how much I love them, and that I always will. No matter what. But more than anything else, I hope that they come to really know and listen to that still small voice this year. Always.