Friday, June 10, 2016

The proverbial last day of school entry

First day. Happy.

First day. Do.not.touch.me.
Notice that there are no fancy fonted dates, words, or images superimposed on these pictures. This is real life first day of school stuff. There's one kid who is mortified by the very existence of her mother and more mortified that her mother is taking pictures. There's one kid who obliges to make his Mommy happy, is excited to see his friends at school again, and wants desperately for his sister to smile with him, and capitalizes on how mortified she is. There's a mother who just wants to capture the moment before her children head off to school. And it's not even 8:30AM.

Fast forward to the last day, and the last nine months seem a bit of a blur. If I had to summarize things, I'd say that Ethel's moods somewhat evened out, she tells us even less than before about what she's working on in school, and she is adored by the second graders in her charge as a patrol. Fred was pegged as a leader by his teacher, gained a love of cooking in an after school club, and his creative side flourished in art and music.

Yesterday was Ethel's last day in elementary school. Yesterday was Fred's last day as a third grader. They are both very unhappy because yesterday was their first day of summer day camp. Buzz kill.

That said, the changes in both kids were gradual, but, pronounced. Fred came out of his shell quite a bit and started to sort of come into his own. He joined Cub Scouts in the fall for the first time, and he picked up on it all quite quickly. He truly enjoyed his first year of Scouting, and so did we. He is looking forward to next year as a Webelo I. He also started inline hockey classes, starting with a skills and drills class. Let me tell you, this kid is amazing. He's roller skated once or twice, but never inline. At the first class, he spent more time on the floor than he did skating. Within two hours of coming home from that first class, he wanted to get on his skates and practice. He put in lots of time after school to get better at skating, and it's paid off tenfold. He is having a blast and learning a lot. He wants to go on and play in a league!

Ethel continued to read and read and read this year. She became a patrol, keeping watch over the second graders during their lunch and recess. Her biggest complaint was that they little ones liked to steal her snacks from her lunch. When we attended the 2nd and 3rd grade concert for Fred, Ethel watched the 2nd graders with a big smile on her face, and some of the little ones called out to her with real excitement. She also joined chorus this year, which she has chosen to keep going with in junior high next year. The band geek in me was thrilled when she chose to try orchestra! My tiny little peanut picked the cello, of all instruments. Thank goodness for half sizes. She did so well, we are so proud of her. The grand finale was Girls on the Run. The staff site coordinator sucked some major lemons and there was a bully in the group, but, Ethel enjoyed it nonetheless. I was fired as her running buddy for the 5K this year in favour of Daddy. She not only did well, she killed her times from the previous two years and it was awesome.

We uncovered some new challenges with Fred, while some of the issues with Ethel seemed to calm. Overall, I think we ended the year with a win. I could complain, but it's not going to get me any free wine, so to heck with it!

When it comes down to it, we have two healthy kids who have a healthy resentment of parental authority, sharp senses of humour, and who aren't on the radar of the authorities. We are blessed by these little beings who teach us, challenge us, and remind us that the word fart is really pretty funny.

Last day. Happier.
Last day. Cool.
I tried really hard to upload some more pictures but they're all sideways and upside down and I don't have the patience. Argh.