Friday, June 11, 2010

Last Day Of Kindergarten

There were so many good-byes today!

I hadn't planned on witnessing them, but I realized yesterday that today would be my last chance to do anything with Gracie in Kindergarten, or at Sandy Hook. So, I begged my husband to look out for Thomas during his morning nap while I spent the half day of school with my Gracie.

This morning I put a drink in her lunch box with a note that read "surprise!"

I decided to keep my volunteering a secret from her, but I was sure to ask if it was okay with her teacher.

I stopped by Food Lion and got us an assorted lunch to share. I got to the school just moments before they lined up to go to the cafeteria. Gracie was very surprised to see me. While she was waiting in line I told her to open her lunch box. Her face fell when she saw there was nothing in there. I told her to read the note, and she beamed.

We sat together at the lunch table and had our "special" lunch together. She was very excited and very clingy, which was good since she has been very moody and sad these past few weeks with everything coming to a close.

I walked with her back to her classroom. The kids finished up a movie, and I helped put all of the kids final things in their folders and mailboxes.

Then, they line up again for recess.

Here is where I am so thankful for my sunglasses! Yes, it was hot and sunny, but they did more than protect my eyes..they hid the unwanted tears.

I watched as Gracie ran around the playground with her little friends and the teacher was telling me how they had talked about first grade this morning before I arrived.

I told her how out of sorts Gracie had been over the past few weeks, but apparently she had been fine at school--until this morning.

She told the other kids she wouldn't be with them in first grade and that she was going to go to a new school. Apparently this prompted an outpouring of "we will miss you Gracie!" from all of her little classmates.

That's the part that teared me up the most.

I dried it up quickly, and we headed back inside.

I helped the teachers take down posters and charts, and anything else they needed done. I also snapped about a million of pictures in my few short hours in the classroom, including a precious class picture with both teachers.

The kids were allowed to go to centers, and only minutes after being inside from recess, it was time to pack up. Since I had driven to the school, I decided to take Gracie home with me, no sense in her having to wait for the bus and sitting in the heat. Plus, she got to ride this morning, so she didn't miss out on sitting with her bus friends on the last day (and I got pictures this morning too).

I gathered all of her things and she hugged her teachers good bye.

There went the tears again. Not Gracie, but me.

What wonderful ladies these two had been all year long. They are exactly what Gracie and I both needed for her first year of school.

When I got home Thomas was still asleep and I was still very emotional. But, as I thought on it for the remainder of the day, I realized that the tears were likely more the end of Kindergarten than anything else. I think that if we weren't moving, I would still have been crying over the last day. That's just me. The end of another milestone for Gracie, another year gone. I have such a hard time with those sort of things. I tear up when I have to pack out grown clothes away!

I know there isn't a need for tears. I thankfully don't waste my time with my kids. They are my priority and joy every day. We play, we make things, we tell stories--every moment is a memory--but, still I miss it when it is over.

I am thankful for such a great Kindergarten year. I am thankful for two God-sent teachers. And, I am praying for a smooth transition to 1st grade in a new home, a new school, with new kids and new teachers.

But, today, I shall focus on a very proud Kindergarten "graduate."

She has asked for a spaghetti celebratory dinner tonight. I think we can manage that!

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