Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Last day as an Awesome Owl

Wow - today has been an emotional one!  All the feelings - for sure.  Today was Emma's last day in the Owl classroom.  Most of her peers are going off the Kindergarten, a few are lagging behind with her.  I am overwhelmed - overwhelmed with relief, gratitude, regret, and sadness.  This year has been BIG - big changes.  Emma started out August going back to daycare for 3 days a week (and hated it), and then started at this brand new school, knowing next to no one, going everyday until noon.  Then mom quite work a month in, and had a baby 2 months later.  Our worlds have sure changed a lot since August 2016.  I am beyond grateful for the everyday love Emma and I received from Westminster.  They were family to us.  Heck, I saw them twice a day - the teachers, parents, kids....  I'm soo, soo sad that the organic meeting up with them will not happen easily this summer...or ever again for some. 

I have been so emotional the past few days thinking back on it.  It's the end of a year, the beginning of another, and another unknown for the future.  I am beyond glad that she is staying there next year.  We decided that with her summer birthday, it was better to hold her back.  She has made tremendous strides - socially and academically in the past 3 months, and I sometimes wonder whether I am making the right choice.  But, for now, I'm holding firm.  I remember being so scared for Emma about whether she would make friends, fit in, enjoy school.  I remember feeling the same feels for me too - would I fit in, enjoy the other parents, find support? 

The past year was a challenging one for me - lots of changes and hormones and lack of sleep.  Ms. Messick and Ms. Lalor greeted me every single day with smiles, asked how I was, made me feel like I was doing a good job (even if I had forgot her lunch, or she was late, or I was a hot mess).  They gave me parenting advice with Emma when issues arose, they gently let me know when we needed to work on things.  I was so, so blessed by them.  They truly cared for Emma, and for me.  I came to meet other parents, some in the same stage of life as me, and some not.  It didn't matter.  I enjoyed their company, their guidance as I navigated a new school and this whole stay at home mom thing.  I loved, loved, loved playdates and carpooling, and staying after to play on the playground.  Those things meant so much to me and Emma.  (Having worked all these years, that kind of community didn't happen with daycare.)  I know I will continue to have these next year, but they will be different, and I lament that.  I try and not be too hard on myself - because I was pretty pre-occupied this year.  But there were so many more things I wish I had done - playdates with friends for Emma, and making more parent friends there.  Ugh...silly mom-guilt sets in everytime.

I love that I have one more year with Emma to mold her, love her, show her how to be a gentle and loving girl.  At the start of school, Emma was so shy.  I was a mess worrying about her.  And by the end of school, she had friends, had learned to stick up for herself, and also to be kind and include others.  I am so proud of her.  She has also learned all her letters and loves to practice them.  She loves to read to her stuffed animals, and I can tell she mimics her teachers:) 

I don't know what summer will look like for us - I suppose we will get bored, and I may get sick of having both kids at home all the time.  It's never too late for camps, I suppose.  And as for those friendships that were so spontaneous and easy everyday, well...we will just have to make an effort to maintain them over the summer!
September 2016 and May 2017.  Emma gained 4 pounds and grew 2 inches!  She also finally kicked the binkies!! 

Thank you, Westminster, for loving all of us through this big year.  We are so blessed to be a part of your family!

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