My little boy graduated from preschool yesterday.   As the end of the school year approached other moms and friends would ask me how I felt about Aidan graduating from preschool and going off to Kindergarten, and my reply was, "Awesome!".  

I was relieved to not have to pay tuition anymore (at least until Gabi starts next year), and to not have to drive him and pick him up (ie, being a slave to his school hours), and because my boy is so much work at home, but is wonderful at school, I was happy that as of September he will be in school 35 hours a week, vs the 12 per week that he has been (that means Gabi gets me to herself for awhile, just like her sister and brother did when they were toddlers).

So Thursday was his last day of school.  They were having water day, I chose to stay home because it would be my last day of "freedom" before summer vacation and I wanted to be a little selfish.  I haven't been as involved this year at school, I went to a couple of the holiday parties, and all the field trips, but chose not to participate in the day to day stuff.  I was unaffected by Aidan's last day, and did not feel bad about missing "Water day". 

Then, Friday was the graduation party.  His teacher, Ms. Tina, had a pool party at her parents house, and I went to that (and I am so glad I did).  For 4 hours I watched my little boy have an absolute blast with all of his friends with school, and it hit me.  He LOVES his school, he LOVES his teacher, he LOVES his friends, and this was it. This was the end.  All of his friends are going to different schools for Kindergarten.  Of course we got some phone numbers of his best friends, but how often are we really going to see them?  

After Friday I started feeling a little bit melancholy, but I was still in good spirits and excited about his graduation which was yesterday.

At graduation there was excitement in the air, and I was still holding my own.  The little ones sang songs about how they were God's children and such.  The 4's class did a little skit about what they thanked Him for.  Then they did the slide show of the kids throughout the year.  There were all the special days they had such as Bike Day, and their little holiday parties. The slide show ended with individual pictures of the graduates posed in their caps and gowns.  And it started to hit me, harder.   After the slide show Ms. Tina presented all the graduates.  She had previously asked them each what they wanted to be when they grew up and as she called their names, she gave us their answers to the question.  For Aidan she said :

 "My last little guy wants to be a chef.  When I asked him where he wanted to cook he said "McDonald's"......Aidan Runion".  

That got a laugh from the crowd.   And that was it, it was over.  He got his "diploma", we took pictures, said our good byes,  made promises to enroll Gabi for the 09/2010 school year, and we left. 

After that I just felt this sadness, an emptiness.  My boy's magic years are over.  The school that he just loved going to (He'd always say "I wish I could go to school every day").  The teacher who ALWAYS had a smile on her face, who made me feel really great about leaving my son there.  When my son was in her classroom, he was always a good boy, and not because he was afraid of her, but because he wanted to impress her.  What if he gets a crabby old meanie like poor Julie had in Kindergarten?  What if he stops loving school?   :(

Anyway, I had to journal about this because I am having such strong feelings.  I did not expect to feel this way!  Last night as I was tucking Aidan in, he expressed sadness over leaving his friends and his school.  He was worried that the kids in kindergarten would not like him.  I had to promise that I was going to make sure he got to see his friends still ( I WILL follow through on that!).  It hurt to know Aidan has the same sadness as me, but it does make me feel good about making the choice to send him there, even if, more months than not, we didn't know how we were going to come up with tuition.

If I am this emotional over his pre-k graduation, I am sure I will be a complete puddle with highschool, COLLEGE!

 Aidan with all his friends on Friday at the pool party.......he's in the middle with the spidey trunks on.




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Jun. 2, 2008 at 11:57 AM It's so bitter sweet to see them growing up. I keep talking to dh about enrolling Morgan in nursery school, and it just seems to be flying by way too fast. It's so great that Aidan loved his school, his teacher and his friends. Hopefully he will feel the same about Kindergarten where he can meet a wonderful new teacher and some great new friends.

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Jun. 2, 2008 at 12:24 PM I hate when you make me cry like that! Abby with hopefully get the pre-k we want. I hope she has the same great experiences like Aidan. Give that little guy a hug for me and tell him we are proud of him. Please tell me the other runions weren't there...ugh. Miss you!

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Jun. 2, 2008 at 3:19 PM

Ah, Mari!  What a bittersweet moment in your life!!  (((hugs)))  It's so hard to see our kids grow up, but you also have so much to be proud about.  I'm glad he had such a wonderful experience in preschool, even if his kindergarten turns out to be less than you would like, I'm sure this experience will be rooted in his memory, and he'll still love school.

(((hugs))) to you for being such a great momma!  And I love the picture of you, Aidan and Chad!

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