Friday, June 5, 2015

Preschool Graduation

Yesterday the boys "graduated" from preschool, and all 3 kids had their last day of school.
Charlotte with her teacher, Miss Karen
Their teachers held a small ceremony at the school complete with little gifts for the parents, some songs, and individual attention on each child.  It began with the announcing of each child, and they came in and handed us our little gifts.  The kids were wearing t-shirts stamped with their classmates' hands and names.
Asher with a rose for mommy and a birdhouse for daddy
Then the class assembled, sang some songs, and showed self-portraits they had drawn at the beginning of the year and at the end to show how their artistic skills had improved over the year.
Most of the kids' class, with Benjamin picking his nose
Each child received a diploma and a hug from the teachers.
Asher with Miss Carol and Miss Marsha
Benjamin with Miss Carol and Miss Marsha 
I held it together completely, I think because I was preoccupied with getting as many pictures as I could, despite the fact that I was in the 4th row and am only 5'2". I had also rushed there after working in the morning, then finishing the teachers' gifts (I was the one and only room mom) with only 10 minutes to spare.

After the ceremony there was a little reception with banana bread and pumpkin bread and ice cream for the graduates.  Benjamin came up to me with a sad look on his face, grabbed me for a big hug, and then started sobbing.  So that's when I started to cry.  I totally get it- I am also terrible with endings, goodbyes, and changes.  I had forgotten that Benjamin is, too, since he is usually so calm and go-with-the-flow.  It was the first time that I remember him getting so upset about something emotional- a big milestone on a milestone day.  My smart, sweet, caring boy.  I covered his face with kisses and he told me he was sad because he was going to miss his teachers and he wasn't ready to go to kindergarten.  He was able to recover, eat ice cream, and enjoy his friends' company.
Benjamin and Asher with their friend Valerie. Valerie's mommy and I grew up around the corner from each other and used to play together when we were our kids' age.
Both boys with Miss Carol 
Both boys with Miss Marsha
We were very lucky- both boys ended up having a wonderful year and a great preschool experience overall. I think they are more than ready for kindergarten in the fall, and could even be reading before then if they wanted to.  Despite whatever social challenges arose this year (mainly Asher's sensitivity to other classmates' behavior), they finished on a high note.  Miss Carol's end of year evaluations indicated that they had both met their mid-year goals and made improvements.  Watching them sit with their classmates as the ceremony went on, I was impressed with their behavior (except for Benjamin's nose-picking!) and maturity.  I get very accustomed to how reliably good-natured they are, and it was nice to be reminded that they are very well-behaved for their age.

The ceremony was over by 2:20, and even though the kids were allowed to stay at school until 5, they both asked to come home.  Asher went right to bed to take a nap, and Benjamin watched the ipad on the couch while I went out for a run (Eric was home working!).  Then Benjamin and I went to pick up Charlotte and collect all of the extra clothes we'd left in their cubbies.
Benjamin and Charlotte tucked in the empty cubbies
We celebrated graduation the way my parents used to celebrate with me when I was a kid- a hibachi dinner!  We'd never been to hibachi, and the kids had a great time watching the chef do theatrics while he cooked our food.  We went with another family whose older son was in the boys' class and whose younger son was in Charlotte's class.  
Benjamin is pleased by the chef's skills
Now it is time for it to sink in that it is summer vacation- even though the weather is making me think it is still March.  I have been sleeping poorly for the past week or so, I think because I have anxiety about the milestones we've reached and how quickly we got here.  I love my boys, and how wonderfully they are growing up, and the people they are becoming. I hope I made their special day special for them.

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