My oldest daughter is a rising sixth grader. At her school, sixth grade is the last year at the elementary school . . . and my heart is breaking! I keep thinking, How on earth did we get here? When did my baby stop being a baby and get to this point? When did she stop needing me and become a self-sufficient young lady?
This is a whole new set of “lasts”:
- Our last year in elementary school. She’s been at this school since she was 15 months old and started at one-year-old Mother’s Day Out. It’s so hard to believe this is the last year she’ll walk down those halls as a student. The same halls where her little hand prints hung on “pat-pats” (that’s what they called the ADORABLE crafts).
- The last year of fun book reports. While book reports can be daunting, I love it when they get to dress up as their favorite characters, or when they get to make a puppet to tell their classmates about their book, or build a favorite scene out of a shoe box.
- The last year of crayons/colored pencils. Is this the last year she gets a new set of crayons/markers/color pencils in her supply box?
- The last year of room moms, class parties, and field trips. I have so enjoyed being there for class parties and field trips. I’ve also been her room mom twice. It’s such a joy to be able to be present for so many of her events. These events will become fewer and further between, and I’m going to miss it so much!
- The last year of lunch visits. Is this the last year she wants me to come eat lunch with her at school? This one really hurts my heart. There’s nothing like seeing your child’s face light up when you walk into the lunchroom. There’s nothing like them running to grab your hand and proudly walk you to the table with their friends. There’s nothing like getting to sit with her and her friends and listen to their sweet conversations and witness the excitement and energy buzzing throughout the lunchroom. I don’t know how it works at the junior high, but I don’t imagine many of the kids want their parents to come eat lunch with them at that age. (Cue: sobbing)
I found this sweet poem written by Kathy J. Parenteau. She wrote it for her son, but I adapted it a little for my daughter. It so sweetly articulates everything I’m thinking, but she put it into words so much better than I could.
The sun was brilliantly shining.
It was a picture of a day,
when I stared outside my window
and watched my daughter at play.
Funny how quickly time passes.
Suddenly with a blink of an eye,
my little girl is all grown up.
There’s no more need for lullabies.
I remember when she was an infant
how I wished that she’d turn one,
for my sleepless nights were endless
and my chores were never done.
At two I wished that she’d turn three
so I could put the diapers away.
I never dreamed that by wishing
she’d be all grown up today.
This is her last year at the lower school.
How I wish she was a baby once more.
Maybe I’d learn to let little things go
like dust on the furniture or dirt on the floor.
Oh how I’d treasure each little moment
if given another chance,
but life just isn’t that simple
and it’s a wish no one can grant. . .
The days are long the years are short
time certainly does fly,
before we know it our children are grown
suddenly with the blink of an eye.
Any other mommas out there embarking on their “baby’s” last year of elementary school? What are you doing to commemorate this milestone? OR mommas who have traveled this road already, what are some things you did to prepare your child (and yourself) for this year? Did you do anything special or make any special keepsakes?