Yesterday marked the end of an era for our family. The end of driving the same ten minute route to a local church. The end of hubby signing in at drop off time and me signing out at pick up time (and sometimes forging hubby’s signature if he forgot to sign in that morning). The end of checking cubbies and coming home with an armful of glittery, dirt-y (literally dirt glued onto paper), and sequin-y artwork, which ends up leaving a trail of glitter, dirt and sequins in the car, on our bodies and throughout the house.
Yes, people, we have come to the end of PRESCHOOL!
(Insert cheers and hip hip hoorays!)
C graduated from pre-K yesterday. We watched our baby and her classmates perform eight songs, recite two Bible verses, and walk across the stage to receive their diplomas (which she later realized with some disappointment was only a blank piece of paper rolled up and tied with a ribbon). We celebrated this first major educational milestone in her life with lunch out afterwards at one of her favorite restaurants and dessert at a frozen yogurt shop. I came home happy and full and grateful for a wonderful preschool, loving teachers and the knowledge that we now have two elementary school aged kids.
What?! How did that happen?
In between all the excitement of yesterday’s graduation, I have to admit I almost got a little teary eyed. I remember feeling proud and amazed when E graduated preschool two years ago, but not sad. So why was I feeling all emo about C graduating? I think simply because she is the baby of the family. And that means all the “firsts” that our family experiences with E – first preschool graduation, first day of kindergarten, etc.- will be the last “firsts” that we experience with C. Now that C is done with preschool, there will not be another preschool graduation for us to attend. When she starts kindergarten in the fall, that will be the last first day of kindergarten for us to commemorate. And all these final “firsts” just reinforce the fact that childhood is passing us by!
Not too long ago I took the munchkins to the mall on a Sunday afternoon; we were trying to kill a few hours while waiting for hubby to return from a business trip. As we were walking around we heard the sounds of a train chugging along behind us and saw that they were offering rides around the mall’s first floor. E asked if we could ride it and my first thought was, How much will this kiddie ride cost? and my second thought was, Who cares how much it is! Let’s do it! We lined up at the train stop, paid for the insanely expensive tickets ($3 per person!), and hopped into a yellow “cage” like we were circus animals. The electric train took off at a very slow pace (good thing cause I wanted to get my money’s worth, haha) and we enjoyed the ten minute ride with smiles on our faces.
In those ten minutes I realized this might be one of the last times the kids will want to ride this train. They are both nearing the age when the things that used to interest and excite them don’t any longer. Their limbs are getting long and lean and they are thinking more deeply and and asking more complicated questions. And someday soon it won’t be preschool graduations that we’ll be attending, it will be middle school and high school ones.
Sigh! It’s so ironic that I used to wait eagerly for them to grow up, but now that they are, I’m wishing time would slow down. 🙂
So here’s to all you parents with young ones. I know the days can be LONG, but the years are certainly short. Savor those days on the playground and those kiddie train rides while you can. I know I will … starting with today, the first day of summer vacation.
(Insert groans and choruses of “Mom, I’m bored!”)
With preschool being over, I’m reminded of the song, “Dog Days Are Over“, sung here by Pentatonix. Enjoy!
What kiddie things are your kids outgrowing that you find yourself missing?