Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Bye Elementary School

This is one of those times I need to write so I know what I'm thinking. Elementary school graduation was this morning. Sarah has been there six years, and it's the same elementary school I went to as a child. I couldn't have asked for a better experience than the one we had there and it's bittersweet to say goodbye.

I actually held it together pretty well. My eyes welled up several times but mostly I was just really proud of her, and enjoyed seeing all the kids that I remember so well from that first day of kindergarten...six years ago...but feels like yesterday.

I needed pictures.  I needed this one:
That's me, Sarah, her dad, and her stepmom. We did this together. Managed these incredibly important, formative years, together. So maybe when I was younger, I didn't imagine this picture of this day looking quite like this, but it does, and I'm so okay with it I'm tempted to say I wouldn't change a thing. Actually, I'm going to say that. I wouldn't change a thing. Not a thing. If I did, it might change that beautiful young lady in the middle and I don't want to change a single thing about her. I think this is the first time I've made it a point to get this particular picture, but it was very important to me today. I'm thankful for this big blended family that takes care of my daughter.

Then I also needed this one:
That's Catherine, the mother of one of Sarah's good friends and a friend of mine. I can't really count how many times, when I haven't been able to be at a school event because of work, she has made sure Sarah feels loved, taken care of, and recognized. And I never asked her to do that, she just did, and Sarah would tell me about it later, with a smile, and I'd feel a little less guilty. Pretty priceless.

And of course, her teacher.
Every year she had a wonderful teacher who made a difference in her bright life.

And her friends.
And her grandparents were critically important during this time as well, although I'm not going to post a picture of them because I don't think they would like that.

And ultimately, just the two of us.

My girl. Didn't think I'd be a single mama with an only child, that wasn't what my map looked like, but the relationship I have with her? There aren't words for it. Not even gonna try.

All of the above, combined with a really special elementary school, made for a really wonderful six years. The smell of crayons and paint. Tears every morning in kindergarten (that was exhausting). Having to go to school on fire drill days because Sarah would freak the hell out. A wonderfully warm and fun first grade teacher. Learning to read. The blur of second and third grades when I was in graduate school and had to totally trust her teachers because I didn't have the time to be in tune with what was going on with her in school. (For the record, her teachers were super stars and those were good years for her. I just know almost nothing about them). Fourth grade and all the changes that came about...but Sarah and her group of seven girls in that class had a very special year. Fantastic group of girls in the fourth grade. And then of course this last year. Safety patrol. Ruling the school. Trip to Port A with her class. Her first boyfriend. The works!

And off we go to the uncharted waters of middle school. Wish us luck! With all of these people helping and supporting us, I'm pretty sure we are both going to do fine.


  1. Oy. What a fantastic post. So much goodness there, but that first photo? I can't get away from it. HUGE, HUGE kudos to you, mama, for wanting that picture and for getting that picture. I couldn't do it. With luck and a whole hella lot of effort, maybe by the time Amelia graduates elementary school in 8 years, but I'm not banking on it. It's obvious, though, how well Sarah feels she fits in inside that blended family. YOU did that. Beautiful day, beautiful daughter, beautiful mama. Well done, you.

  2. Thank you. :) Your situation is *very* different from mine and a "whole hella lot of effort" might be putting it mildly I think. And yet's a conversation to have over a glass of wine!