Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Last Days

I never realized quite what a bittersweet time of year the end of school is for parents. It's not just that you suddenly have to come up with entertainment for the summer, but you get to know and trust the kids' teachers. And, of course, it was Smunch's very last year of preschool, so that held some particular significance.

Smunch's school doesn't have a preschool graduation. I guess it's a good idea really. Not all of the 5-year-olds are going to kindergarten next year. The preschool has a program for 5-year-olds as well...aka, kids who weren't quite ready for kindergarten yet. Instead of a graduation, the school holds a big party in the park. All the kids in the school are invited. It was crazy, but so much fun! There were tons of very kid-friendly games and prizes. There was a bounce house, of course, and a funny, inflatable caterpillar that the kids could climb through and apparently get pooped out the end.

I couldn't believe they had one game that seemed especially designed for Mam. Under a little shade tent, they'd set out tubs of sand filled with "treasure" for the kids to dig for. I think she could have stayed there forever. In fact, she was there when they packed up...taking the tubs and the tent and leaving her to sift through the little mountains of sand that kids had dumped on the lawn!

And here's a photo of Smunch with his favorite teacher. It's funny. Mrs. M was kind of a severe-looking woman who actually made one of the little girls cry on the first day of school...just looking at her! She didn't put up with any BS from the kids and wasn't the warmest or snuggliest of the teachers. Throughout the year, I sometimes asked Smunch who his favorite teacher was and he always said "All of them." Finally, on the last day, it became Mrs. M. By that time, I'd realized what a terrific, caring teacher she really was too.

Mam's last day of school wasn't for another week, but it has come and gone as well. She had some warm, wonderful teachers this year and she was crazy about school. I hope that lasts! She'll be going to Smunch's school next year. I'm excited. It's so neat to watch them growing up and really starting to learn about everything. This is Mam with Miss Sandy. I don't know that she was Mam's favorite, but she was too busy fighting with Smunch over a mini beach ball to have her photo taken with her other teacher! This photo was a darned sight cuter than her official school photo!

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