Friday, June 12, 2009

Another Day at the Park

Although Mam was done with school, there was just one little item of business left on Monday this week. Park Day. Our family has been at the same preschool for three years now and I think I've posted about Park Day each time. It's such a fun time for the kids, although I have to admit that after three years, some of the same old, same old is getting a little ho hum for me. Such as the giant, inflatable worm that eats and then poops children.Obviously, Mam is having a grand ol' time. I think she ran around in circles being eaten and then pooped at least a dozen times before she abandoned the worm for the bouncy house carousel.

I'm not complaining. Although I was slightly bored, it was fun to watch Mam run around enjoying all the different things. This is actually the first year she's gone all by herself. Smunch has always been there with us before...two years ago as the graduating preschooler and last year as an afternoon kindergartner who had a free morning to join us.

This year, the bubble station was of particular fascination. I think she went back several times, even though I urged her on to some of her other favorite activities.She had fun throwing rings around floating critters and getting to choose a prize for no real accomplishment in particular.She had a grand ol' time fishing with a magnetic and picking a prize for a fish successfully caught.She got a balloon animal. In typical Mam-girly fashion, she requested an orange snake. But, at the next station, where she had her face painted, she duly requested a pink unicorn on her cheek.She dug for buried treasure in buckets of sand and added a pile of trinkets to all the junk I was already trying to juggle. Too bad I won't be at this event again, or I'd write myself a big reminder to bring an empty bag with me...a bag for all the things I will surreptitiously try to sneak into the garbage can in the next month or so.

Mam also paid a visit to the "pocket lady" and picked out her favorite prize of all...She ate popcorn and Otter Pops. She visited with all the friends she ran into. In general, it was a very happy time. Of course, it's also a time for bittersweet goodbyes. Here she is with her favoritest teacher of all.Because Mam was enrolled in two preschool classes this year, Mam had six teachers and as far as I can tell, she loved them all. Looking at the sweet photos of her with them, I realize I loved them all too. I didn't full appreciate why some of my friends were having such a hard time with their youngest leaving preschool. Sure it's a little sad, but they're going to KINDERGARTEN! Maybe part of my excitement has to do with the days when I didn't think she'd ever make it to kindergarten. Or maybe my friends were just more sad because they'd had more years to absorb what a wonderful place this preschool really is. The director can be a little strident at times, but her love of children is unsurpassed and her ability to hire fantastic preschool teachers is really unbelievable. Not only have we never had a bad teacher there (and we've had 11 different ones in 3 years with the 4 classes the two kids have been in), but the teachers don't leave either. Although these are teachers who probably see 80 kids every week, they always knew who she was...including many of the ones who weren't her teachers. Even the office staff knew Mam by name...long before they knew my name, I might add. And they have a way of making you feel like you'll always be part of their family, no matter how old your kids are.

In so many ways, it's a magical place. I hope Mam looks back on it that way too.

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