Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Last Day of School

So, today was the last day of school for my kids. And while they are so very excited that summer is here, I find myself a little sad.

This was an interesting school year for me, as far as the kiddos go. I was terrified of sending Sawyer to a Middle School. Ends up a lot of my fears were justified, but as has been the norm with Sawyer her whole life, she is our little guinea pig. I now know what to expect from that heinous place they call Middle School, and how to help her handle things next year, as well as what the younger two will need when they make the transition. Or maybe, hopefully, our current school will go to 8th grade by then (we have been campaigning hard, but that is a whole other website... if you care to have a look, Kellan is on the main page), and the whole terrifying middle school experience will go the way of my once wrinkle free skin.

To be fair, Sawyer LOVED her experience this year. She definitely had to grow up, and shoulder a lot of responsibility. She made lots of friends, and learned how to deal with the not so friendly types. She thought Middle School rocked. Me, not so much.

Kellan had an amazing year. She seemed to really come into her own this year, and she truly blossomed. She had an awesome teacher, whose passion is science; Kellan had some really cool science experiences this year, and suddenly, science is her favorite subject. Everything from making a potato battery to snail races to raising crawdads. She participated in the school musical this year, "Mary Poppins" and even had a couple of solos. She auditioned and got the parts, and didn't even tell us that she was auditioning.

And after being utterly panicked about sending Rhys to the "big school", he had am amazing year as well. His teacher was absolutely incredible, and I seriously can not throw enough praise at this man. He saw through Rhys's sometimes challenging behavior (I affectionately call it being a pain in the a-word, but I don't think that is the proper educational term) to the wonderful smart kid that he is. How lucky were we that Rhys had this teacher? I look back on the year, and see that if another teacher hadn't had the patience that Mr. H. did, that I certainly wouldn't be so pleased with Rhys's performance this year. I volunteered the last full day of school at the "First Grade Olympics". I hadn't helped out at all in his classroom this year, so I was happy to be there. And I got to see Rhys's less than perfect behavior first hand, and felt the gray hairs multiplying all over my head. And realized that the paltry gift card I got for Mr. H was not near enough. I probably should have simply wheeled a keg of beer into his classroom, plopped it in front of his desk with a big bow and the words"Thank you!" painted on the front. The man is a saint. And I know that I teach three year olds for a reason. Seven year olds are tough!

Oh, yeah, so why am I sad? Because as school ends, so does the chance to see all of my friends at pick up time. My good friend Amy describes our routine perfectly here, and while I know I will see everyone at some point over the summer, not seeing them several times a week will be hard. Who will listen to me ramble on about the minutiae in my life? How will I know about the minutiae in everyone else's life?

It's weird, at 43, I suddenly have friends again. It's not like I went for awhile with no friends, but I was so busy with my life, and my kids and my job(s), that establishing and maintaining friendships seemed like a thing in my past. I had lots of acquaintances, but nobody I hung out with. I hung out with my husband. I figured that's what one did. Until, someone mentioned the words "Girls' Night Out". That someone also said, everyone deserves a couple of hours away from her husband and kids. And next thing I know, I am walking 60 miles with this group of ladies who go on monthly Girls Nights Out. And I have discovered that having a group of women to share experiences with and to talk to and to seek advice from was pretty cool. The coolest thing? The realization that we are going through the same stuff, and it is way more fun to laugh about it with friends than to fret about it alone.

So, the summer stretches before me. I have grand plans that include organizing all my photos and all the kids' artwork as well as cleaning, organizing and painting the entire house. Not to mention, we are wanting to do a lot of landscaping in the backyard as well as finally fix that middle bathroom.

HA! We all know that my summer will be spent trying to figure out fun things to do with the kids that don't cost a lot of money, and if maybe I pull a weed in the backyard, and dust the spiderwebs off the ceiling in my bedroom, I can say I accomplished something in the house.

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