Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The end of preschool...

Dang it, I'm going to cry just thinking about the last two days of preschool. Deep breath, trying to compose myself......

After school almost every day (well, every NICE day) we play on the school playground for a little while, or at longest until the big kids come outside for their recess. Not only was this a great time for the boys to run around and play with the other kids, but it was a great chance for me to get to know the other kids in the class, their siblings, parents and even some grandparents. One of those kids is Kendra. It's been so fun watching the relationship between Jack and Kendra develop and change over the course of the school year, especially the past few months. Kendra has always loved Jack and chased him and asked for hugs and tried to play with him. Jack would run away and yell "NOOOOO" to the hugs. Then he started to come around and he'd give Kendra a hug when she asked. Then he'd run around with her or chase her. Then came the yelling goodbye and the "Oh Kendra is leaving Mommy! I need to go give her a hug!" The two of them are so cute. When Jack calls, Kendra runs away from her girl friends and goes to him. Jack does the same when she calls for him. Last week after their usual chase and hug routine, Jack asked her if she wanted a kiss. She, of course, said yes! So he gave her a little peck on the mouth. Afterwards they were both so embarrassed. Jack told me he kissed Kendra because "they have love." The next day Kendra's grandma told me that Kendra decided she's going to marry Jack (but also that she got in trouble with her mommy for kissing a boy at school!). In any case the two are super adorable, so Kendra's Nana and I had the kids pose together for a picture before the end of school. We also traded info so that maybe the lovebirds can have a playdate over the summer sometime. :)

Thursday was Jack's last day of preschool. Oh boy... it's so hard to believe that this two year journey has already come to a close. It was a VERY emotional morning. (Not helped at all by the fact that I was leaving later in the day for my first solo trip since having kids, and also learned earlier in the morning of the passing of my best friend Castara's father). As I mentioned in a blog post earlier this year, Jack's first year of preschool was not an entirely positive experience. I ended that school year worried that he wouldn't be ready for kindergarten and that perhaps there was something socially or developmentally wrong with him. This school year was a completely different experience. Whereas last year it felt like he didn't really fit in in his class or connect with his teachers, this year Jack just jumped right in, made friends, connected with his teachers, and just generally made a great impression of everyone. His teachers has loved him, as have many of the parents of other classmates and the kids themselves. And we have truly loved all of them as well. He truly blossomed under the love and guidance of a wonderful preschool staff and I am honestly, eternally grateful.

All that said, the last day of school was a day I was not looking forward to. I've found myself wishing and hoping that I could just package up the group of people we've spent the past 10 months with and bring them with us next year to kindergarten. Since that can't happen, we had to say goodbye. I wasn't the only one who had tissue on hand. I think we all felt so blessed to be a part of such an awesome group. I thought I was holding together okay until I saw Ms. Joyce, Jack's main teacher, crying. Then I basically lost it - and I'm not, as a rule, a big crier. A couple of the other parents spotted me and shook their heads as if to say "Nooo! If you start I'll start!" And so it went. I very easily could have dissolved into sobs, but managed to pull myself together and say those difficult goodbyes. I will NEVER forget this year. Jack was not at his home school for preschool this year so we had a bit of a drive (10-15 mins) every morning and at first I was resentful and annoyed by this inconvenience. But looking back, I would be inconvenienced over and over again if it would guarantee such an amazing experience and group of teachers and kids and parents in school years to come. Ms. Joyce, Ms. Heidi, Ms. Padma, Ms. Stephanie, Ms. Sarah, Ms. Barbara, and Ms. Megan - we will miss you all so much - and thank you for EVERYTHING!

(Okay, another deep breath, I will NOT cry again!)

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