I survived it.
The boy’s very last day of elementary school has come and gone. My heart is still beating inside of my chest, and I’m still breathing. I feel like throwing my arms high in the air like the refs do at a football game to signal a touchdown and shouting, “Nailed it!”
Throughout the all-school assembly, and the enormous slideshow for everyone, and the all-school picnic, I felt dry-eyed. I didn’t feel a cry coming on at all, and I decided that maybe I HAVE A HEART OF STEEL AND/OR STONE AFTER ALL, because LOOK, MA! No tears! I was feeling rather smug and proud of myself, too, for not melting down. School was out at 1:15 on Friday, and at 1:05, I still hadn’t shed a single tear.
Then Mrs. M, the boy’s darling teacher, gave me an enormous hug and she burst into sobs and said, “Your little man just finished elementary school!” And low! There was Kellen’s mama, Sarah, standing right beside us, crying and crying, and the floodgates opened up on me. I had myself an Ugly Cry, right smack there in the 5th grade classroom, until two girls from the boy’s class patted my back and asked if I was okay.
No. My boy has grown halfway up. How could I have been okay? I felt like I needed to excuse myself to the girls’ bathroom, lock the door to a stall, and not come out for three weeks, so that I could have some privacy and get all the emotions plum out, and I just wanted the janitor to slip a box of wine beneath the stall’s door.
But yes, the boy made it.
He’s officially a person of SIXTH GRADE STATUS now.
And really? I guess that he had an okay year, as far as his grades went. Hubs and I reprimanded him about that lone LOW GRADE… Locked him in his bedroom for nine weeks and just fed him bread and water until he brought it back up.
I can’t say enough good things about his teacher, Mrs. M, this year. She’s become a good friend to us. She was his mother away from home. She is simply amazing, and we BIG-PUFFY-RED-HEART adore her. Being in her classroom was THE! VERY! BEST! thing that could have happened to us this year at the school. We couldn’t have envisioned the 5th grade anywhere else.
Look! There’s the boy on his last day of kindergarten, with Mrs. F, who was just about to have a new baby. That baby is turning five this summer.
As a side note, I would like y’all to know that the LAST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN pictures are the VERY-ONLY pictures that I have from kindergarten, because
Hubs someone didn’t back up our photos for a year, and our hard drive crashed. To say that I cried is an understatement, because I HAVE NO SNAPSHOTS OF MY SON WITHOUT HIS FRONT TEETH ANY LONGER, and the moral of this story is BACK IT UP! BACK IT UP! BACK IT STINKING UP!!! Thankfully, when our computer died its violent death, I had all of the pictures from the kids’ last day of kindergarten still on my memory card in my camera.
Here are some of his buddies from that last day in 2007.
There’s the boy and Kellen and Ellie…
They’re all STILL adorable; they’ve just managed to break their mothers’ hearts and grow up.
Ciara’s a little bit taller, and she’s lost those cute baby teeth…
And Enzo? Well, Enzo lived in Texas when he was in kindergarten, and then his family came to their senses, left the heat and the Longhorns behind, and they moved to Small Town, USA. We’re powerfully glad they did.
I have enough pictures to fill an album tonight, so I’m just going to keep the words simple, brief, and rather boring.
Y’all are welcome for that.
Friday started with an all-school assembly, and the kids did some dancing. A real photographer would have known which settings to use on her camera, so that it didn’t turn out blurred like this one did:
Quinn, the boy and Enzo smooshed together for a Kodak moment. I’m sure at their college graduation, their mamas and I will look at this picture and say, “Oh my word! Look how tiny they were as 5th graders!”
Our little friend, Tavy, was excited about putting the 2nd grade behind her, too. Thankfully, her mama, Miss Mika, has a few years to go before she sits in a bathroom stall and has an Ugly Cry, because Tavy is headed for the junior high school.
Everyone had a picnic outside, and Hubs, Thing 2 and I brought Jimmy John’s sandwiches to the boy, because we thought it would be a good LAST SUPPER to have before we put the elementary school days behind us.
The kids were all running around, carefree and happy, happy, HAPPY…
(He should have worn his CHICKS DIG ME T-shirt!)
I don’t even have enough words to explain how much I love all of these kids! The boy has made some POWERFULLY WONDERFUL friends over the years, who have run in and out of our house since kindergarten, and I adore them all.
Every. Single. One. Of them.
When school dismissed at 1:15, I blew my nose, dried my eyes, and got ready to head to the big after-school party that Quinn’s mama was throwing.
Kellen’s mom brought her miniature school bus, which she uses for her science camps in the summertime. We decided that picking the kids up in a stretch limo and letting them hang out of the sunroof wasn’t in the budget, so we threw them all on Sarah’s little bus, and she hauled them all straight to the big party.
Of course the boy brought home a backpack that weighed 180 pounds, as it was full of everything he has done all year. 125 pounds of that backpack was dedicated to SHEER GARBAGE. The rest of the weight consisted of classroom items that his teacher needed to throw away, but which the kids all begged to take home.
Thank you, Mrs. M. I don’t know how we have lived this long without a four-foot-tall flip chart to practice our cursive letters on.
The after-school party was one of the best ones ever. We had apples and strawberries that were the size of apples. We had grapes, in greens and reds and purples. We had bread and hummus dips and fancy cheeses. We had homemade nachos, and homemade salsas.
And we had Lime-a-Ritas, which are like PRECIOUS SUMMERTIME in a cold bottle. They have forever changed my drinking options for our deck, because of YUM, YUM, OH MY WORD, YUM!
The kids lounged around…
They played tag with rubber playground balls, which eventually turned into a game of GET THE ICE CUBES OUT OF THE COOLER AND THROW THEM AT ONE ANOTHER, because kids are very good at improvising new games on the fly…
They’re quite good at that, especially THIS batch.
Someone found a baseball bat, but no baseballs seemed to be around. Someone else said, “Well, I have a can of soda.”
Every kid grabbed pops out of the cooler and laughed until they cried as they pitched them and batted them and watched them explode! As grownups, we probably should have said, “Um, yeah. There are thirsty children in Africa who would love to have a cold Sprite,” but then we decided that HITTING THE CANS OF SODA was actually better than our kids DRINKING THEM.
Sugary pop is a wicked thing, people.
So we let them have at it. Soda Baseball kept them busy and laughing hysterically for quite some time, and they were all VERY PROUD to pose with their shattered cans for the camera.
The big boys all recruited little Bae-John to run back and forth to the cooler for more cans of Sprite and Coke, as well as plastic bottles of water. Bae gave a whole new meaning to the term WATER BOY.
After everyone was sufficiently fed… sufficiently sticky from sprayed soda… sufficiently wet from the water fight… sufficiently exhausted after running, running and RUNNING and jumping on the trampoline… sufficiently sunburned, because no one thought about sunscreen for the entire six hours we were there… and sufficiently happy, we headed for home.
Of course, Thing 2 was BEYOND EXHAUSTED. It’s hard to be twelve weeks old and want to play with the big boys… and to get passed around to no fewer than 35 different people who held him throughout the long day… and who loved on him throughout the day.
Thing 2 was asleep at 7:00 on Friday night, and he only got up one time for a bottle all night.
And then he spent over half of his Saturday looking exactly like this:
Welcome to Summer Vacation, people. We are ready for it.
Did I mention?
My big boy is officially done with elementary school.
Your mom and dad sure do love you, and we are sure proud of the young man you are becoming.