Goodbye, Kindergarten

Congratulations, A!

Today is my son’s last day of kindergarten. Momma Bear has mixed emotions.

On Tuesday you read he’d outgrown his shoes. Always been able to see him grow by his feet first. That sounds strange, but even as a baby, his feet grew first then the rest of him followed.

“Mom, my feet are as big as your hands!” he said as the salesperson measured.

Yes, those precious feet I once closed my palm around are now too big for me to grasp. Perhaps I can hold on to a toe a little while longer.

As if the end of kindergarten weren’t enough, yesterday we celebrated the retirement of my son’s junior kindergarten teacher. Helen taught for 29 years, the past 24 at our little school. Wow. She will be missed.

Congratulations, C!

Today is also sixth grade graduation. A and C have been big brothers to my only child for the past three years. Now they move on to different schools.

“We can still see them,” said my son.

“Yes,” I said, “only not every day like we do now.”

Before we all burst into uncontrollable sobbing, let me share with you how I’ve kept my composure. The meltdown moments come, but they’d be much worse if it hadn’t been for one terrific party.

My son has many wonderful friends in his class, including three sets of twins. One set has an older brother graduating from high school this year. My husband and I attended his graduation celebration at The Sheldon last week.

The Sheldon is a concert venue, right? What an odd place for a graduation party. This was no ordinary party.

Alex is a phenomenally talented performer. In the fall, he will enter the country’s premier musical theatre program at the University of Michigan. Naturally, the stage played a starring role in this celebration.

Congratulations, Alex!

He and 19 of his closest, most gifted friends performed Broadway hits for an audience of more than 200 people. Attendees were asked to make a donation of $10 or more for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS to help improve the living conditions of folks diagnosed with AIDS.

These high school kids exhibited a maturity and stage presence that blew us away. And they raised $5,000.

Then at the after show party, Alex took the stage and sang Daughtry’s What About Now. Flawlessly. For his mother. Can you say American Idol?

Oh, yeah. Speaking of American Idol, Nikko Smith was the entertainment for the party. Old fogey that I am, had to whip out the iPhone and Google who he was.

As my husband and I walked to our truck to go home, I realized Alex is an adult. Much as we’re celebrating his accomplishments, we’re also celebrating his parents’ accomplishments. Our friends Robin and Joel have raised a responsible adult who has his own talents, interests, friends and future.

Sure, he still needs his parents and it’s obvious he loves them dearly. But they can send him out into the world, confident in his ability to pursue life.

I’m raising an adult too. I pray in the years ahead God reveals this one’s talents, interests, friends and future. It’s a big job, growing a person. Momma Bear’s up for the task. Feet first. Wouldn’t have it any other way.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future…” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

In 10 years we'll be DRIVING this car.

Oodles of thanks to our son’s teachers, Michael and Mary, for such an amazing kindergarten year and for instilling this sweet song in our memories: Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole.

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4 Comments

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4 Responses to Goodbye, Kindergarten

  1. OK Aimee, I started following your blog because you’re my client’s wife. But I continue to follow your blog because I LOVE YOUR POSTS!

    Your writing style, your links, your everyday ups and downs to which I can relate — it’s all really, really good. And I *especially* appreciate how you incorporate relevant Scripture into everyday life (novel idea, huh?).

    Have a great summer,
    Neil

  2. This momma bear has a few tears after reading this fabulous post. You are so talented, Aimee. And I agree with Neil on the Scripture addition to each post is always relevant and touching. My farmer DAD is now a reader of your blog and commented to me the other day on the phone that you are a “copy writer” and how much he enjoys your blog. Thought you’d smile to know a North Dakota farmer is reading. :)

    • Katie, your comment on the heels of Neil’s just made my week. Thank you. My first job the day after I graduated college was “assistant copywriter” at an ad agency. Only they didn’t let me write stuff like this. Not sure I could have back then. Guess I’ve been promoted, according to your farmer dad. And I’m not one to argue with a farmer!
      PS: Tell you dad my son is itching to travel west. This summer vacation we’re headed east, but maybe next year we’ll swing through North Dakota…