Today I drove my first baby to Kindergarten for one last time. At the beginning of the year, I never thought I'd make it through being away from him 7+ hours a day... but I did!!! I never worried about him and how he'd do, I knew he'd do great! I worried more about me and missing him. For the past 5 years I had stayed home with him, been with him 24/7, and rarely spent long periods of time away from him. But I made it and I'm so glad I fought the urge to take him out of Kindergarten and wait another year!
Here he was on the 1st day of Kindergarten back in August....
And here he is this morning on the last day of Kindergarten.... all grown up!
I have really noticed lately how grown up he is.... it seems like this past month he is going more big boy things and saying more big boy phrases. Not my little baby any more... even though I keep telling him that he is and that I want him to stay small forever. Luckily though, he doesn't want to stay small! He wants to grow up big and be like his dad! That's a good goal to have and he is well on his way!
This year he has learned SO much! He can now read (here is a book he can read all by himself), write, do ABAB (and more complex) patterns, add, work with money, beginning to tell time, knows all of the standard Catholic prayers (and some), tell Bible stories, speak some basics in Spanish, learned about typing, learned lots of songs, and learned a lot of games. I think it is safe to say he had a great year full of learning and fun!
It was sad walking him into Mrs. Neumeier's class for the last time; saying "Good Morning" to his teacher and friends, hanging up his backpack for him, tucking in his shirt, tying his shoes, smoothing out his hair, telling him to "have a great day", and giving him a kiss (this was our routine every morning!). I couldn't believe the year was over. And knowing that we are not coming back to St. Joe's next year.. and that my other kids probably won't be in Mrs. N's class made this morning extra hard!
Knowing too that he was going to have to say "good bye" to all of the friends he had made also made me sad. He often asks about making new friends in Saudi and if he is going to be able to keep his old friends. I reassure him that he will have room for old and new friends but, what is the reality that we will stay in touch with all of the friends we have made??? I just hope that due to our yearly visits back home we are able to keep in touch with our dear friends!
My sadness quickly had to be put on the back burner.. and probably for the best... turns out I didn't listen to Owen when he was telling me he could wear whatever he wanted to school today because it wasn't a church day. I thought that meant what it did every other non-church day this year which means he didn't have to wear a "cross shirt", he could also wear a plain red shirt or a white shirt. He was in tears when I made him put his cross shirt on this morning... but I really wanted him to wear that vs. a plain red shirt so I could have it for pictures. Then... when I dropped him off at school and saw that everyone was wearing non-uniform clothes I understood what he was trying to tell me! He said, "See Mom, you should have listened to me!"... who does that sound like?!?! : )
So I quickly took my last picture and ran home (thankfully now we are at my mom's house and it is a 2 minute drive), got him some new clothes, and ran them back up to school and helped him quickly change over! Whew! Crisis averted! I also got a chance to watch them play one of the quiet games Mrs. N uses when she needs a bit of a fun distraction!
What an amazing year it has been with 2 great teachers, a great room full of friends, and a wonderful school community! We are going to miss you all!!! And now... my baby boy is officially a 1st Grader! : (