Tuesday, June 20, 2006

butterflies

Today was big sis' graduation party at her elementary school. It was beautiful and emotional and I had butterflies in my stomach the whole time.

A few parent volunteers helped the teacher orchestrate a finely tuned event. Every graduating child received apart from their diplomas and certain special medals, the serious part, a special award to celebrate a talent of theirs. An idea which I found sensational. Over the last weeks, I scoured all the dollar stores to get a small fun gift: binoculars for the curious kid, a microphone for the talkative kid, a small address book for the friendly kid, etc. Instead of the graduating hat, we gave them each some funky sunglasses.

Interspersed with the award presentations, some of the kids performed dance and music numbers. My big girl even played the piano. A difficult piece of her repertoire and boy where those butterflies going! But she did a great job.

Afterwards refreshments and snacks/cakes were served. The kids received a "yearbook": each child wrote a page about themselves, their experiences at their school, their hopes for the future. The kids were going around getting autographs from each other. Pictures were being snapped left and right.

95% of the kids are going to the same high school next fall. Big sis however, decided to apply for this particular enriched program in another school. We got her letter of acceptance last week. It was elation and trepidation combined. Only one other classmate is following this same path.

So today, watching all these kids graduate got me all emotional. They're a great bunch. I've known most of them for the past 6 years and their parents too. I felt a certain sadness when I realized I may not see some of them again. Must be tough for teachers to go thorugh this every year.

Then I started worrying. Are we doing a good thing removing big sis from this tight knit froup to send her to another school where she won't know too many? Sure, they say they will keep in touch. Great intentions but often not carried through. Or maybe its a good thing to let her experience new friendships, starting with a clean slate.

Parental decision and turning points in kids' lives, definitely conducive to butterflies in the stomach. Its hard to leave the familiarity of a known school and known group of friends to face an uncertain future in a big school when all of a sudden they go from the oldest kids to the youngest ones.

Hope it all works out. We are giving her till Xmas in her new school to see how she fares and then we'll re-evaluate. One of the harder parts will be for her to get ready an hour earlier. We are used to her school starting at 9:15 whereas this new one will start at 8. And we are not really morning people around here :(

5 comments:

nancy said...

I am all emotional reading this. Congratulations on her graduation. May I just say that all those fun things from sunglasses to their yearbook format sounds fantastic, so memorable.

I believe going to the new school will be such a valuable experience for her. This is something she wanted so much, and she did it. That says a lot already. She will make new friends there, and any that she keeps from her last school will end up being her true friends. I still have two from my elementary days, we are very close even though we have lived in different cities for decades, yes decades.

Most exciting times in your family these days!

And as for the early mornings, I hear you. When we have to decide on what school for the Troops in September 2007, I am thinking just to pick the one that starts the latest, heh heh.

Silver Creek Mom said...

I agree with Nancy. She is leaving comfort to go to something that is new and excited and she will learn she can do well in any situtation. Miranda only hangs out with one girl from here elementray days. Going to a new school was a good thing. (OK it was not quite the same thing as you but it was a good thing for her) Miranda left her CLICK and went off on her own and made friends on her own terms. I'm sure some of these will be life long friends.

I can relate with the butterflies. Get themall the time when my kids perform. I'm a neverous wreck opening night of anything.

Hugs and congrat BIG S...your changing so fast now. SIGH.

THETHINKINGSQUARE said...

Sounds like an awesome graduation party.
The new school sounds like a great opportunity... but I'm sure the butterflies will always follow.

BeachMama said...

The graduation sounds awesome. Big Sis made a huge decision to change schools. I am sure it will work out for her and end up being a fabulous experience. It may also help her choose a University later ;).

Tonya said...

Congratulations on her graduation and it sounded like a really good time. That is a huge decision to make to switch schools.. Im sure she will do great :)