Thursday, May 21, 2009

The End of an Era

After a rather unusual preschool career -- six years (one of those years as my "office baby"), seven classes, twelve teachers, and four preschools -- Conner graduated tonight.

It is truly the end of an era. My Conner will start kindergarten in just a few months. I'm trying to get geared up for a pretty big life-stlye change. And yes, I'm a little sad...today was one of those days that could have easily ended with me in a mess of tears, but luckily I live with quite a few distractions! Really though, I just can't be too sad. Conner is so ready for this next step. (I guess it helps that he'll actually turn six the day before kindergarten starts!) This is actually the Conner's second preschool graduation...but I think this time it will stick!

Back when he started this preschool thing, I was the assistant director of a preschool in Dallas. I helped with the end-of-the-year program for the "graduates," and it was much different from either of the ones that we have gotten to participate in. It was a Circle of Blessings, a special time of just the kids getting ready to enter kindergarten and their parents. I used to dream about what it would be like to do that with Conner. If you would have told me that instead he would be graduating in cap and gown in Louisiana in 2008, and again in a goofy little felt hat in the town in which we are domestic missionaries in 2009...I would have either laughed at you or hit you for even suggesting something so crazy. And yet, here we are. (Any of you Skillman CDC folks who might be out there reading, we miss you more than you'll ever know...)
But enough of that! If I'm not careful, I will end up in tears!

Micah gets the lowest-maintenance-kid award for the evening. He was so sleepy that he actually fell asleep on the seven-minute trip to the school -- and slept through being unbuckled, taken out of the van, and carried into the building. Then he woke up, looked around, went right back to sleep...and slept through the entire program.
We started off the evening as the recipients of a beautiful gift of songs. The kids shared with us some of their favorite songs from chapel. It was cute.
(Conner is in the middle of the back row, blue and navy striped polo.)

Bless his heart, I guess Conner was really tired, too. He just looked sleepy, and even on-stage his blinks were a little long. For a few minutes there, I almost felt like I needed to move a little closer to the stage so that I could catch him the time that those sleepy eyes didn't open back up!

Then the younger kids received a gift and a certificate from their teachers while the graduates went back to get ready to graduate. And when they came back in, it was with pomp and circumstance!(Not really "pomp and circumstance", but they were so proud of those goofy little hats!)

Meanwhile, as we waited for Conner's name to be called, Joey was eating cookies, doing his best to cover me in all of the soggy mush that was soon covering his fingers.We had to stop that when the woman behind us ended up with soggy Nilla Wafers in her purse. So then we moved on to throwing shoes...and pat-patting the pew "by-boo"...and playing "uh-oh-I-'dropped'-my-juice-cup" with the little girl sitting next to us...and seeing just how far mommy would let him crawl under the pew...and smushing raisins on the floor...

Finally Conner's name was called. He proudly walked on stage, still working hard to keep those sleepy eyes open. (Sorry, all of the smiles we got tonight are pretty goofy. Really, he was soooo sleepy!) He recieved a little stuffed pony (his class mascot) from Mrs. Belinda, and a certificate and a Bible from Mrs. Tammy.

When he came back to sit with us, Joey just didn't know what to think about that hat!

(Thank you, Bret for this picture. You're right, the way Joey is looking at Conner in such awe is priceless!)

Conner sat and read his new Bible for the rest of the program. We actually had to take it away from him when it was over so that he would stand up and talk to his friends!

Here's Conner with a couple of his fellow graduates, buds from Christ Journey. Jessica and Logan, congrats to you guys, too!

And then it was back home for graduation cake!! Last night was the third night in a row that I was up after 1am baking something for some kind of little celebration. The creative juices just were not flowing very well, so the cake is a little goofy. Sorry, Conner. I'm really excited that I'm not going to be icing "pretend birthday cupcakes" or a graduation cake again tonight!

And the best surprise of the evening -- Bubba and Uncle Chris were at the house waiting for us. And they had huge Spiderman balloons and gifts for everyone! Thanks, Lyd and Chris. You really made the "after party" special. We love you!

Conner, my new kindergartener! I am so thankful that I could particpate in this preschool journey with you -- walking you up and down the halls in the stroller when you were my office baby, hiding under my desk so that you wouldn't see me and cry as your class went to the playground, pinning up your casted arm in the overalls so that you could still come to school and that precious little pinky finger would be protected, crying as I dropped you off at a new school in Louisiana where I didn't know anyone, teaching in the classroom next door to yours during your first pre-K year, having to explain to your teachers why your two front teeth had disappeared into your gums one morning and were gone another morning, and watching you really blossom into a little reader this last year. I am so very proud of you, and look forward to paticipating in this next step with you! I love you so much, sweet boy!

3 comments:

CB said...

What a great night! And how special was it too that Micah slept through the whole thing?? You look so pretty and tan and southern in your pretty blue dress...man I miss the U.S.!! Drink a sonic for me today!Congratulations Conner!!

BooBoo said...

Wow! A lot has happened in 5 1/2 years! So proud of your whole family. Tell Bret we enjoyed receiving the twitpics during the event last night. That helped us feel like we were a part. Love, love, love you people! (and gotta agree with CB...you look very lovely, Rachel...in fact, (drum roll) the word verification: "pretion" You look "preti" on (in) your pictures!
MOM pfu,wpfy

Heidi said...

Great pics...Congrats, Conner!