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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The first last day of school

Today was the girl's last day of school for the summer. Technically school ends tomorrow, but as she goes just three days a week to preschool today was the day. While I am nervous because I am completely unprepared for her to be home with me full time (quick I need ideas for activities!), I am also sad because it is one more big kid milestone she has reached.

The girl started at her preschool in January as soon as she was two and a half and old enough to attend. It was a rough transition. She had never been away from either of us before. I was home with her for her first year, the husband took a year of leave from work to stay home with her for her second year and then I was on maternity leave again. It took about two months before she felt truly comfortable at school, two months before I could pick her up without her running to me crying, two months before she could go the morning without crying for her mom.

One of the reasons I love her school so much is her teachers. They were amazingly kind and gentle with her during this transition. They would talk to her, comfort her and hug her. She bonded with one teacher in particular. When we would talk about her going to school, how she would be okay and mommy would pick her up when it was over, she would always say "If I cry I can ask J. for a hug". And she would.

The teachers also talked the husband and I through it. If they hadn't been so sure, so positive that she would move past her difficulty with school I think we would have pulled her out. But she did and now she loves it. She will go back in the Fall.

We wanted to do something for the teachers to say thank you. To show them how much they have meant to the girl and to us. To thank them for all the things they have taught her, like how to count three on her fingers and what the planet Earth looks like. I thought long and hard about what gift to give a teacher. I was afraid they have probably been given everything. A site I found on the Internet said not to give anything with apples because teachers always get gifts with apples. In the end we settled on the husband's homemade lemonade (yum!) and some silk screened tote bags I bought off of Etsy. Both are perfect for the summer.

While the teachers have taught the girl a lot, so have the other students. For good and bad. Today the girl was quite happy to use the new word she learnt at school as often as she could. "That's gross" she said. "GROSS". She has also begun to instruct younger, smaller kids at the park that the area under the play structure is just for "big girls and not for little kids. So you can't play here because it is just for big girls".

I figure that the husband and I still have a few more years where we can exert our influence over her. She may be learning lots from the teachers and kids at school but she still learns lots from us.

"Mom, put out your hands" she told me this afternoon at the park. "This is cat barf" she said pouring sand into my right hand. "And this is worms" she continues gleefully as she poured sand into my left hand.

Yes, we still exert some influence on her. At least my husband does.

3 comments:

  1. These little milestones are so bittersweet. It's one of the things that surprised me about motherhood - how I could be so happy to see my kids grow up, and so sad at the same time.

    And, oh, the things they pick up at school. Lately my daughter has taken to telling me to 'shut it up'. Fun!

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  2. And I believe your girl taught my girl all about cat barf one fine day last summer! How sweet ;)

    At least the wading pool opens soon--that will be one big attraction for the hot days at least.

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  3. I highly recommend Andrea's blog (http://www.quietfish.com/) for activity ideas. She's always doing something fun and interesting around town.

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