Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Conor's Culmination

Remember at the beginning of the school year, when I was just beginning the Nursing program and Conor was ushered off to Kindergarten, maybe a bit prematurely (age wise)?  That was awful.  I missed his first day of school because I had class, which made me feel like a horrible mother.  And then, every day when I would walk him to school, he would cry and not want me to leave.  It tore my heart out.  It went completely against my instincts, which were to snatch him up, pull him out of there, and bring him back home to the safety and nurture of Mom.   But, the situation being what it was, he had to keep going.  And after several months, he grew braver about our separations in the morning.  He always had a good time during the school day, and his teacher adored him.  He is (most of the time) well behaved and obedient at school, and seemed to enjoy the learning and even the homework (which I hated).

But today, well, today was a momentous day, because Conor finished Kindergarten.  I mean, he still has to go until next Tuesday (whatever), but today was the Culmination.  It was also Sean's graduation from 8th grade, so Adam attended that, and I went to cheer on my sweet baby.  My last Kindergartener.  Oh, man.

Can you see his pale face in the crowd there?

The principal read a poem as part of the ceremony, and it really choked me up.  I couldn't stop the tears.  Now I know from first-hand experience how quickly the years pass until these little ones are just gone, so I made a conscious effort to soak in this moment in time.  I tried to memorize all the feelings of watching my little guy take this first baby step in his educational life.

On the other hand, the audience was a sea of humongous helium balloons, floral arrangements, and oversized (cheap) stuffed animals.  "Congratulations, Graduate!" the balloons screamed in shades of mylar.  Seriously?  I mean, I'm proud of my kid too, but let's get real here.  All they did was finish Kindergarten.  My kid got a kiss, a sincere compliment, and then I took him home with me.  That's right, spend the rest of the day with me.  There's your gift.  (Actually, I just didn't feel like walking back to the school in a few hours, and I knew he wouldn't be missing much. I'm lazy and selfish like that.)

Here's Conor with his teacher, Mrs. Stevens.

And here he is with his other (real) teacher, Mom.  He and I are making all kinds of fun summer plans, now that I have him all to myself.  He is one cool kid.

And now, apparently, he's a First Grader.

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