The Last Day

I knew this fall, that this was the last year…
that all the sweet cherubs would ride home on a school bus together.  I feel lucky they had each other this long, at our little k-8 school.  
It was a great school year, that went by at just the right speed, and was filled with opportunities and experiences.

Baby girl graduated.  She gained so much confidence this year, learned to read, and be brave without her Mama by her side all day.

Little buddies

She had GOOD teachers.  Now that I have kids in school, I appreciate teachers so much more. Just this week I saw them buy drinks for kids who don’t have anything to drink.  I saw them share their own snacks when a child forgot, and was embarrassed to think of the days my kids hadn’t packed enough and told their teacher they were  hungry.  Teachers don’t get paid enough anyway, but on field trips I saw them pay for kids who didn’t have money – out of their own pocket. 
This last week I spent a couple days at the school, helping out, and accompanying children on field trips.  I tell you what, I was exhausted.   
I often have to get out of the house early, but this time I had to do my hair.  I had to look nice.  This was on top of making breakfast, helping pack snacks and lunches, wanting the kitchen to be half-way clean for when I got home, running down to feed chickens – and did I mention my hair having to look nice?   It’s hard getting kids out of the house and being gone all day!  And then, you have to come home and think about dinner.  Then there’s house, homework, piano, bedtime, etc. etc.
Our kindergarten teacher has twin kindergarteners at another school.  She rises at 5:20 everyday to get ready, drop her children off, and then comes to teach my little girl all day long.  Always with a smile on her face and a soft, patient voice.
I know men and women do this day in and day out; bless you.  I’m in awe, and know you carry heavy loads.

I hope she always remembers to stop and smell the flowers

I held it together quite well during the graduation ceremony until they began playing, “What a Wonderful World.”  Oh my goodness – stop it!  I considered curling up in a ball and sobbing…

Sprinkled with fairy dust…and magically…she became a first-grader!

And then the very next day, when my heart was not at all fully back together, Cope graduated from 8th grade, the little school she’s gone to since kindergarten.  Nine years of her life, in some of the MOST formative years of her life, when often, she was gone more than she was home.  That school has done wonders.
This.  I remember this day so clearly.  Yesterday, this little girl was just a little girl.  I’m trying to wrap my head around the time warp. She used to hold my hand and walk to school, which was just across the street from our faculty house on campus where we worked.  Sometimes she would cling to me and not want to go in and I would be annoyed she was making a scene and try to peel her off and say, “be a good girl.”  I wish I hadn’t been annoyed.

And now this girl is borrowing my clothes, rolling her eyes, and debating me like a state champ.  I’m still trying not to be annoyed.  She still likes me to snuggle with her though. 

When she sang “For Good” from Wicked, I had to intensely study my new cloud-blue fingernail polish and blink, blink, blink…it didn’t quite work.  I would load the video here, except Blogger is refusing to cooperate.  But then I would sob again.  So perhaps it’s best.  

She was given a diploma and skipped down the aisle

The three musketeers
Who went to preschool and started kindergarten together.  You see the problem with my heart, don’t you?  You understand.

Every time this boy sees me he pumps his fist in the air and yells, COACH!  Honestly, it can make my entire day.

My darling was even given an english and social studies award.  Mr. Tucker mentioned her great debating skills.  Could this be translated to:  You daughter loves to argue?    

Not to leave the boy out…he went to his last dance of the year the next night.  And made sure his pants were pulled up.  He said he chugged two sprites and ate ten airheads – YES!  I love those school dances.  So does the dentist.

Then it was the last day, of Paige getting on the kindergarten bus at 11:20.  Yep, that may have been me you saw again…on the side of the road…weeping.  What is wrong with that woman, you ask?
One of my friends said how HAPPY she was that FINALLY her child was going to be in school all day next year.  I look at her like she’s nuts.  She looks at me like I’m nuts.  It could be true, in both cases.
I loved having my little buddy home in the morning.  Next year there is all-day school for kindergarteners.  I thank my lucky stars it didn’t pass until this year!
What I love about little children is that they aren’t embarrassed to show affection; they RUN to you.

And hug you tight without worrying that everyone is watching

The last day of school was yesterday. 

Even though I was at the school most of the day I had them take the bus so I could get a picture of them getting off together.
One last time. 
Today is the first day of summer break!  Soon, I may be crying for different reasons.
Happy summer…!

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9 thoughts on “The Last Day

  1. patricksnelson

    GG wears shorts to work? 🙂
    It is CRAZY to see you and Cope together in the pictures! She’s so big and old… (in a good, pretty way, of course). Wow!
    Ava starts kindergarten this fall and Claire just turned 2. Weird.

    Reply
  2. Dianne K. Salerni

    How lucky you are to have a k-8 community school!

    Our district opted long ago for the assembly line procedure. We have a HUGE district, but all students are bussed to attend school together in a K-2 primary, then a 3-6 intermediate, then a 7-8 middle school, and finally a 9-12 high school.

    My building, the 3-6 intermediate, tried to imitate a small school feeling by organizing our students into 4 houses (like Hogwarts), where students would stay for all 4 grades.

    Rumor has it that this is now going the way of the dinosaur, and we will be moving to wings of 3rd grade, 4th grade, etc. Each with 14-16 teachers per grade.

    It makes me sad, very sad.

    Reply
  3. Lindsey

    Amy!! This makes me so sad!! Now I REALLY don’t want my kids to grow up!! It’s all just too sad! I LOVE the pictures of Cope, Annika and Jackie as Kindergarteners and 8th grade graduates! Where does the time go?!? Oh man – time for me to snuggle my babies!

    Reply
  4. Julia Tomiak

    Love the pictures, love the sentiments, and I can totally relate to all of it- the “hey coach” and the three chugged sodas. ;). Enjoy those kiddos, and I’ll check in on you in a few weeks. Mine have been out since May 31st and I’m exhausted!!!!!

    Reply

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