Well, the 2010-2011 school year is almost over. The other night we went to an end-of-year celebration at a nearby park. It was a last hurrah for the 5th graders, heralding their transition from elementary to middle school. Amberyn, my 11-year-old, is moving on to the realm of the big kids, yet she still spends time in little girl land. At the park she climbed, slid, and rolled down the grassy hills with her two brothers. I like watching her when she’s all carefree and childlike. I mean, she’s only 11.
This is a poignant time for me as a parent; I still recall the mix of anxiety and excitement I felt as I ushered my daughter into her Kindergarten classroom and spoke with her Kindergarten teacher for the first time. I wondered how she would do in school and whether she would be too sensitive for a classroom environment. I had a hunch she would do fine, and she did. And for the most part, I’d say she has excelled in her 6 years of elementary school.
Still, I’m kind of at a loss as to where all the time went. I remember her elementary school years as a beautiful blur. She’s made friends, learned a lot, and gone through a big upheaval when we moved to a new neighborhood and she had to change schools at the end of 4th grade. She’s experienced her first round of bullying. She had inexplicable trouble with urination which seemed to have resolved on its own. She had (also mysterious and fleeting) facial tics for a few months. Some nights were spent struggling to complete overwhelming amounts of homework or last-minute “oh yeah, this is due tomorrow!” science projects. There were days filled with tears, days where she racked up too many absences due to bouts of flu and/or fever and had to face up to piles of make-up work when she finally got back to class.
One of my favorite memories will always be dropping her and her brother off together at the front office; it always touched my heart, the way they would smile and wave goodbye before running in to the front office together. Amber usually held the door for Zane and let him scurry in before her. That’s a sight I’m never going to witness again- as routine and ordinary as it may have seemed at the time, perhaps I took it for granted a little bit. Mornings prior to school often feel rushed and stressful. Sometimes I didn’t allow myself to savor the simplest, yet loveliest of moments. Ditto for the two of them walking out together after school, meeting me at the car. Amber acted like Zane’s little caretaker, picking him up from his teacher after class. It was a neat moment in our lives, the both of them going to the same school for a stretch of a few years, being dropped off and picked up together. So cute. In my biased, Momish opinion.
It seems they are spending their last couple of weeks doing fun things in class. They’ve been watching movies every day. Yesterday, when I asked Amber how her day was, she said, and I quote, “Awesome! We had a chocolate fountain! It was a party!” Seriously.
They’ve also had a craft fair, for which Amber’s product was homemade sock monkeys. Thank you Mom! And thank Goodness for your sewing skills and for spending several hours sewing 4 sock monkeys for your granddaughter to sell at school. Amber wanted one more as of last night, so I stayed up late hand-sewing one (I don’t own a sewing machine or know how to use one even if I did… I wish!) She’ll have some product for her “business” today. All on her own, she came up with this business slogan: The Funky Monkey, Where Monkey Business is Our Business. Pretty good. I guess we have another marketer in the family.
Zane’s class has been doing more relaxed activities as well. I guess since all the testing and curriculum have been completed, they have a couple of weeks to play and breathe a little. Next week there will be a pajama day. The entire school filled with kids in their PJs!
Then it’ll be time for their first summer vacation!
They’ve never had a long summer break after a school year, because they’ve always been in year-round school. But this year, the district switched to a traditional 9-month schedule. So we’ll see what happens.
If we end up staying up all night, sleeping all day, unshowered and dread-locked, living on twinkies and soda from 7-11? Well, I guess that wouldn’t be SO bad. It is summer vacation after all.