Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The end is near...

It's the day that mothers everywhere greet with one of two reactions: either supreme dread or utter elation. This morning I put my child on the bus for his last time as a Kindergartener. It's the last day of school.

I usually meet the summer with a combination of fear and dread. I love my son, but coming up with things to stimulate his mind all day long is not easy, and this year it will be even more difficult with his two-year-old sister in tow. But, as I previous mentioned, this year is different.

This year, we counted the days down until the last day. This year, he and I argued for the past three days about whether or not that day was, in fact, the last day of school. The child is ready for a break. And, I'm ready for him to have one.

So, I'm meeting summer with anticipation this year. I look forward to having my son to myself again, and seeing his little mind in action. I anticipate many craft projects, a summer journal, and trips to the library, the pool, and lots of parks. I plan to brave the movies with my volume-challenged toddler for the kids' summer movie series. We've planned to see Charlotte's Web on stage at a local community college. There will be playdates with popsicles, sprinkler fun in back, and lots of Leggos. And a big trip to Sea World to kick of our summer is just weeks away.

Instead of dragging my heels to the bus this afternoon, I will jog to meet it. As I took my son's picture this morning, I felt amazed at how quickly his first year of public school has gone by. And, yet, in so many ways it has dragged this past month too. And, as he smiled for that photo, I realized how much older he seemed from the beginning of the year. How could one year change someone in so many ways? His eyes showed a wisdom that comes from learning the ropes of school, both mentally and physically. He has learned more about bullies, school bus seat snubs, and being ignored by the teacher. He's learned about greasy pizza for lunch, struggles keeping up in his "run club" for P.E., and saying goodbye to his favorite friend who moved away. But, he's also learned about gaining recognition for a talent, how great recess can be, the cafeteria's mashed potatoes and gravy, and having a class room of friends all year long. He's learned how field trips are amazing, reading can take you away to someplace magical, and how being in elementary school makes him finally one of "the big kids."

Yes, it has been a year of learning for my son. And, his Mom has learned a thing or two along the way. I just wonder if next year I will feel so changed at the end of the school year. Something tells me, another year will bring us a whole new world of things to learn from and experience. The gray hairs are just under the surface of my head, anxious to make their debut. They are just waiting for that first bus ride to first grade!


Blogger Nicole said...

I have mixed feelings, too. But what really freaks me out is that 1st grade is just 2 and a half months away! And just one more year until my middle boy is in kindergarten. I have a feeling we'll be watching them drive away to college before we know it...

10:40 AM, May 24, 2006  
Blogger Babs said...

Your summer plans sound awesome! Will you be my event planner too?!?!

11:48 AM, May 24, 2006  
Anonymous Angela said...

Yep, as I recall, just about every year of school was just as big a stepping stone as that first one! On the good news side of the house, he's made it through some pretty tough stuff so hopefully it'll just get better from here.

And I'm so jealous--I wish I had a nice long summer holiday looming ahead :)

12:48 PM, May 24, 2006  
Blogger Belle-ah said...

Today was our "last day of school" as well! I am so glad. My youngest ended the preschool year about a week and a half ago so today was the final for my older 2! I am so excited. I am ready, ready, ready for a break and them having a break as well. I am ready not to have to hop in the car 1st thing in the morning to deliver my little ones (and not so little one) to their respective schools. Your post helped inspire me to get planning on how we are going to spend this precious, but moving too quickly, time!

Thanks and have a wonder filled day!

2:19 PM, May 24, 2006  
Anonymous Theresa said...

What a wonderful post! Every year brings new and exciting things, and a few not-so-fun lessons too. And every year I look at my kids and cannot imagine that they are as old as they are. They grow up sooo fast.

10:07 AM, May 25, 2006  

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