Friday, June 19, 2015

The End of an Era

It's the end of an era...

I remember, very vividly, Isabella's first day of kindergarten at Chaparral Elementary school. Miss Grieve, her sweet teacher, welcomed the "late owls" with a bright smile, truly excited to shepherd those littles into their first real year of school. The room was bright and bold. Words, numbers, pictures and happiness awaited them. And just for good measure, the song "Oh What a Beautiful Morning" rang all around them as they crossed the threshold into kindergarten bliss. I cried.

Now, 10 years later, my youngest has just wrapped up his last few days at Chaparral Elementary school. As each hour ticked away, as each end-of-year event unfolded, my heart broke a little more. As excited as he is for middle school, and as fun as the next chapter is, it's painful to say goodbye to this glorious and magical part of my children's youth.

I know it's inevitable and I can't turn back time. And I'm pretty sure they wouldn't let me hold him back a year, even though he is on the small side. But as I counted down flag salutes, I couldn't erase the feeling that the best memories really were behind us. Because in many ways, they are.

The wonder of each new milestone - riding a bike, tying a shoe, making a friend, letting go of my hand - all of those miraculous firsts, the ones that required the best digital camera money could buy, we've recorded those.

The excitement of each new grade - finding out teachers, exploring an interesting new subject, trying out sports and musical instruments and hobbies, learning what inspired them - all of the wondrous discovery that unfolded with each stage, we've uncovered so much of it.

The days of hanging art on the fridge and walking littles to their lines are gone. The days of reading library books together and cutting word sort words are gone. The days of park picnics and play dates are gone. The days of getting a play-by-play of the day while holding hands on the way to the car, are GONE! In middle school, almost none of that happens. And I already miss them like that: little and needing me.

Chaparral Elementary school, you have given our family some of our most joy-filled years. Morning announcements, music with Mr. Heely, Champion Follies, holiday activities, Town, Walk Through California, Ancestor Day, candy grams, Spring Sing, the Kellogg House, jog-a-thons, carpool, recycling, little/big buddies, countless performances, the list goes on and on. And even though the transition is more bitter than sweet, I must acknowledge the incredible teachers that have shaped my three children and prepared them for the future, even if their mom would like to press pause.

So as we bid a final farewell to our favorite school, we thank you...Mrs. Nicolai (then Grieve), Ms. Schofield (then Siglock), Mrs. Killian, Mrs. Stetter, Mrs. Adams, Mrs. Eusey, Mr. Trager, Mrs. Simpson, Mrs. Jones, Mrs. Mannix, Mrs. Valdez, Ms. Millat and Mrs. Burns. You will forever be treasured in our hearts.

Until next year, have a GREAT summer! (And don't be surprised if you see us at a flag salute or two next year, just for old time's sake.)

{J}

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