Monday, June 10, 2013

My two graduates

Today was a very special day for us: It was the day that officially marked the end of the school year. Last week, on Thursday, was Jesse’s last day of preschool (the summer school trimester started this week). And today, it was Jennifer’s last day of 5th grade. Jesse has graduated from preschool and Jennifer has graduated from elementary school. I have two graduates in the house! Yay!

Here is Jesse on his last day of preschool:

Today was Jennifer’s very last day. Unfortunately, Jen’s dad could not come to her ceremony (which the school dubbed a “promotion”) and Jesse was likewise unable to attend. Both of them have been having allergies REALLY BAD lately so they stayed home.

I got to the school and found a seat which I thought was a good spot for taking pictures but I ended up moving to the seat next to me for picture-taking. When all of the graduating students entered the cafeteria, we all clapped. I had tears in my eyes as I watched all of them come in through the doors; I was so proud of each and every one of them! It was such a beautiful moment to see all of those graduating 5th graders.

First, the principal gave a speech, then the students who won special awards were called forward to receive their certificates. Then the graduating students were called to the stage a line at a time. All of the 5th grade teachers were lined on the stage to greet them, congratulate them and hug them as they walked over to get their certificates. I didn’t want to embarrass Jennifer and go crazy cheering when she got hers but I clapped good and hard when she came up on the stage. I also took a lot of pictures.

Here is Jennifer getting her certificate:

After that was done, we all applauded the graduating students then we were all released to go meet with everyone. I saw a friend and we both had tears in our eyes as we hugged. It was such a wonderful moment for our daughters!

I met up with Jen and we took turns talking with and hugging people. Then I took a bunch of pictures and then we had cake. I was taking more pictures and talking with more people I knew (including the principal), and I also told one of Jen’s former teachers that I’d be back in the Fall with my son, who would be entering kindergarten at the school. “Six more years!” she said. I also congratulated and hugged Jen’s friends.

When all was said and done and people started closing up, Jen helped put things away. When she was done, I put my arm around her and told her it was time to leave the school for the last time. She got really serious and said, “This is my very last day at this school.” It was like a realization hit her. Six years at this school and now she was leaving. She was going home from this school for the very last time. Once she left this school, she was no longer going to be a student there. Her days in the elementary school have come to an end.

We walked out of the building but we didn’t leave just yet. We spent some time walking around, looking at everything. I told Jen I could still remember her very first day of kindergarten at that school. She said she could remember it, too. I pointed at a door and said, “I remember you came out that door on your first day of kindergarten.” She said she could remember other things, too. We both kept saying “so many memories.” She started to remember all of her teachers and all of the things that happened at this school. The friends she made and the memories they created. We both started getting a little teary-eyed as we stood there together, our arms around each other and looking at the school. I told Jen it was not a last look for me but it was a last look for her. Of course, she can visit the school sometimes with stuff Jesse will be doing there, though I know it won’t be the same. She had graduated from this school today and it was now time for her to move on to middle school. But she’s always going to be keeping this school, the people and the memories she had there in her heart.


Millie said...

Aww! I am very proud of her! Now she will be making new friends and getting into those fun teenage years, lol! Thanks for sharing :) I think it's really cool how you guys walked around and went down memory lane a bit before leaving.

Dawn Colclasure said...

Jenny: thanks Millie, but memory lane was hard for me, that school was the place I spent most of my time each school day. Not only that, but my BFF (one of them anyway) won't be going to my middle school. We will still meet up of course but it makes me so sad still! It will be SO hard to meet up because her parents give her "at home" assinments like she had 2 schools, school school then home school. She spends most of her day working in math and writing books her parents buy her! She will be so busy and we usually only meet once a week! I will miss her so!! :'(

Dawn Colclasure said...

Thanks for commenting, Millie. She kept saying "I'm really gonna miss this place" and before we left she said "Goodbye, school." It was a really emotional day. Of course she's ready to move forward into middle school but leaving behind that school and those AMAZING people who work there is hard.