Two years ago, I walked the Little Mouse to school on her first day of school. She was four and a half, because she’s a February baby, and more than ready to start school. She was excited and happy and smiling from ear-to-ear. With a classroom change-up the second day of school due to additional registrations, I was worried because now she was in the larger classroom, with a lot more kids than what the Little Bird had. But, if her usual go-with-the-flow attitude, she found her place among the 30 kids.
I seemed to have blinked, because while that memory seems like just yesterday, this week we attended her Kindergarten Celebration of Learning, aka: SK Graduation!
To say this kid was excited was an understatement. She didn’t stop talking about it for over a month. And then when she was chosen to introduce a song, she was even more thrilled. She practiced her intro every night until she memorized it, proudly saying that she didn’t need the paper.
Leading up to the day, we bought her a new dress, because on this special occasion, the kids were permitted to wear their party clothes. She picked out her own headband and shoes and even asked me to curl her hair. She was pumped and ready.
But she also kept saying she was nervous to do her intro. She would giggle when she said this, flashing her infectious smile. I reassured her that she knew what to say and that she would know where we were, so she could just look at us and she would do great!
The morning of the graduation, D and I were home of course, having taken the day off. I curled her hair, and helped her into her dress and she was so excited. The Little Bird gave her bracelet to wear that matched her dress, and I could see how proud she was of her little sister. It was adorable watching her give the Little Mouse advice and encouragement and telling her to have fun.
After dropping them off at school, I wrapped up a little present for her and cried as I wrote her card. D and I recorded a message for her, as we usually do on these special occasions and I cried after saying her name. I knew it was going to be an emotional day.
We met my parents and D’s parents at the school and scored front row seats. The gym was decorated with butterflies and flowers, and their artwork hung around the room and a PowerPoint presentation played with pictures of them from the past two years. It was so cute to see her showing off her work, or hanging out with her friends. I could barely keep it together as all the students filed in and we could see her searching the room to find us. We waved franticly, and her face lit up with excitement. Just before they cued the song to start, the Little Bird walked into the gym and was so thrilled she could come and see her sister graduate!
I was already bawling.
They skipped down the aisle, shaking pom poms and made their way to the stage. We chose the right side, because she was in the second seat right in front of us. Some of her classmates welcomed the parents and grandparents to their celebration and they sang a song. I tried to hide my tears behind the camera, as I snapped away. The principal welcomed everyone and thanked the kids for all their hard work over the past two years.
They sang more songs and then each of the 24 graduates got up and said what they wanted to be when they grow up. Each of them were adorable, looking in the direction where their parents sat, saying what they wanted to be and then they seemed to freeze, not knowing what to do. We cheered when the Little Mouse said she wanted to be a vet when she grew up.
Let’s make that happen!!
It was then time for her to do her introduction to the next song. Smiling, she stood and made her way to the mic and said, “Some of you will probably remember the TV show The Adam’s Family. Today we have our own version. Feel free to snap along.”
She was so happy, even sneaking a thumb’s up to us when she sat down. I was so proud of her.
After that last song, the teachers went onstage to present their graduation medals to them, and of course my camera wouldn’t focus properly when it came time for her presentation. I was so upset, but was able to get a picture of her with her teachers afterwards. We took all the must-have pictures under the 2017 Grad banner, with just the Little Mouse, and with all the grandparents, us and even her sister. We enjoyed some refreshments and took more pictures with her friends and teachers. She was so happy and excited and proud of herself.
Before we left, I told her she got to choose what was for dinner and she, of course, chose pizza. This kid could eat pizza for breakfast, lunch and dinner if I let her. We all gave her more hugs and left her to continue the celebration with her friends. The Little Bird went back to class after having a couple of cupcakes!
I still wiped my tears away as we walked home, in disbelief that our baby is heading to grade 1 in the fall.
I can’t wrap my head around where these last two years went. I can see how far she’s come, knowing all her numbers and more importantly her letters. She is always trying to read words on things all around us, asking us how to spell different words and starting to write notes to us and her sister.
This little girl is so happy all the time, and while she sometimes likes to teeter on the edge of big girl/baby, she’s starting to show the world her potential. I have always heard that she is a pleasure to have in class, always helpful, happy and participates. Her teachers have never had any trouble from her and always say she loves her friends. She has a great sense of humour, wants to learn more and do more and be like her big sister.
With grade 1 a mere few months away, I can’t help but feel my stomach drop as I think of my baby in the big playground. It gives me comfort knowing she’ll finally be with the Little Bird. And I hope that her big sister at least takes the time to say hi to her occasionally. I know she will be in Grade 4 and all, but I think she will look out for her.
Since the Little Mouse from the larger class, I think she’ll know most of the kids next year, but there is always a chance she won’t. I hope she continues to be herself and makes friends with all the kids, inspiring the shy ones to come out of their shells. I know she’s going to miss her friends from Junior Kindergarten, but hopefully will get to see them sometimes in the before and after school program. I have confidence that she will bloom and flourish in Grade 1 and continue making huge strides.
So my Little Mouse, the future holds nothing but endless possibilities! So, take a chance; try new things; forge new paths and never lose your smile. Your heart shines through in all that you do and always know that me, daddy and your sister are so very, very proud of you.
Congratulations on your SK Grad, my sweet girl. We love you.