Sunday, May 27, 2012

Eating My Words

Last year I railed on about how lame Kindergarten graduations are. 

Because they are.

This year, #3 is finishing his final year at the daycare where all my boys have been since they were babies.

He could actually stay an additional year, as he won't be five until December, which means he won't be in kindergarten until fall 2013.  But since this is #1's last year at the elementary school, and the school has a K-4 option, this is the only year we are able to have all 3 kids in the same school.

This is the only year we get to drop off with one car.  One time.  ONCE. 

Couple that with the fact that #3 has been in the "oldest" class at the daycare for several months already, it's clear that it's time to move him up. 

Move him out. 

I am sorry, but this is hard for me. 

We have been at the "CLC" (Children's Learning Center) since #1 was 6 months old.  That's 10&1/2 years.  That's longer than husband & I have been in our jobs.  Both #2 and #3 started there when they were 6 weeks old.

Some families abhor the idea of putting small children in daycare.  I have a relative who makes statements like "I could never let strangers raise my children".  Except they have not raised my children.  And they are not strangers. 

Miss Christine, Miss Belinda, Miss Amanda, Miss Julie, Miss Gracie & Mrs. Adela taught all 3 boys.  Their photos are in our family scrapbooks.  The pageants that they coordinated are the backdrops of some of our most cherished memories.  The art projects they supervised crowd our walls and our refrigerator.   We truly love these women who have truly loved our children. 

One of the events Mrs. Adela coordinates is the "Graduation" ceremony for the kids moving on.  She has been getting them ready to move on for weeks.  Paul has been talking about his Graduation for ages.  He was very particular about what he HAD to wear ("Mrs. Adela says BLACK shoes, Mom."  "But you don't own any black shoes, honey".  "Well then YOU better explain to her". )

The graduation was a luncheon.  Miss Amanda made spaghetti, salad, bread, tea and cake for everyone.  The children sang us songs -- "Friends Forever" and "This Little Light of Mine".  The teachers reminisced about things the kiddos did, things they learned, and what they enjoyed best.  Paul liked learning about Dinosaurs and is proud that he can write his name, just like his brothers. 

The teachers made a little yearbook for the parents.  Each child tells what he or she plans to be when they grow up.  Clayton wants to be an astronaut.  Alex will be a fisherman.  Lauren wants to be a princess.  And Paul?  Paul wants to be a priest. 

As I watched my youngest happily belt out This Little Light of Mine, I teared up.  Not because I am sad that he's moving on, but because I am sad that WE'RE moving on.  Our days of babies are over.  It's not that I want them to be babies forever -- I don't.  I want them to grow to be good men.  It's not that I want more babies.  I don't.  I really, really don't. 

It's just that I will miss this time.

Thank you CLC.  Thank you for preparing my boys for school.  We love you.

Cutest Stinkin' Photo EVER


  1. Well then...

    Thanks for providing me with my good cry for the day.

    And, you're right, that IS the cutest stinkin' photo EVER!

  2. Mary, you have said it so well!! Thanks for sharing. Laurie L

  3. He looks adorable, I love the outfit! I can't even get over how freaking cute it is!

    You really don't want to go for a third 'oldest mommy in the mat. ward' award??? I completely hear you about missing this time, I was a little overwhelmed the other day when I told someone that my niece was ten months old... ...then I realized, July... ...eleven months old... almost a year. I can still remember when she was barely five pounds.

    1. Thank you Adam! And Shaddap. I do NOT want to go for another title. I'm 46 years old.

  4. I love my daycare babies. And their teachers there. Having good childcare means mommys can do a good job at work because they aren't worried(and also because paying for that good daycare requires lots of hard work). My kids will not be on the same campus until #1 is a senior and #2 is a freshman. Great blog as always Mary.

  5. Hi Mary - I loved your post! While I only had one in day care (can't imagine 3!!) I remember struggling with putting Liv in daycare, but today I am soooo thankful that I did. Nancy was our daycare person and she was great and the other kids in daycare helped Liv to understand that she was not the center of the Universe! This is something that the youngest child (and youngest grandchild) needs to be reminded of on a regular basis - at least mine did :). She's a great kid and I credit that part of her life and making her who she is today. Pretty darn happy and well onto the teenage years. Yikes!

    1. I can't believe she's almost a teen. Wasn't it just yesterday that WE were teens?

  6. Oh, this one hits home for me! I love E's daycare, and I'm already thinking about how much of an adjustment it will be when she goes to Kindergarten... which is over a YEAR from now, so you can see how much her "school" (as she calls it) means to me.

    The women who teach as E's school are fantastic. She's learning more, and loving learning more, than I ever did at that age. And I love watching her learn to navigate friendships with her classmates.

    I only have one, so our total time at the school will be four years. I can't IMAGINE saying goodbye to our school after over 10! I'm going to be weeping enough as it is...

    1. The only thing I won't miss is writing the goddamn check. But I'll be writing it to the Catholic school, so we have that to look forward to.

  7. Ten years? That's incredible. I worked at a daycare in college and seeing those kids grow up/move away was HEARTBREAKING. I still think about them and wonder what they're up to now.

    And that photo? SO. FREAKING. CUTE.

  8. Mary, you know I know exactly how you feel. I was able to have Aidan, Elam and Declan all at CLC for one year. Then again last year I was able to have them all at Club Estates at the same time. Now it's back to different schools but not too bad.

    You did leave out the relationships that were made in daycare. Yes maybe the babes don't actually remember crawling next to each other. But you know I still grin ear to ear when I look at every picture.

    Fox Boys Mama


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