“I Knew the Day Would Come.”

Yikes!

The owner of our day care for the last seven years said this to me a few weeks ago, when I turned in our notice that today would be our last day for our youngest there.

I knew it too, and now that it’s here, we adults are all a little emotional about it!

It was a no-mascara kind of morning.

My oldest has her last day of kindergarten, and my youngest has his last morning at our day care center. My babies are growing up!

For the past two years, I have been able to call my daughter a kindergarten-er (4K and 5K). Now she will be a first-grader! She has grown up and learned so much these past 180 days. And I think back to the hurried mornings with my reminders to “get going.” This is apparently what I like to say according to my son:

Mothers day 2016

My mother’s day “card” from my four year old son.

180 days Big Sister “got going” and went to an awesome school led by talented, caring teachers.

I volunteered and helped her class learn about art. It was a joy to see 20 little five and six year olds each month and watch them create projects based on famous works of art. We learned together and had fun!

Little Brother will end his pre-school program at our day care and will be in four-year-old kindergarten this fall. First grade and kindergarten here my kids come. Watch out!

I knew this day – the last day – would come, and so I thought it would be no big deal. To my son and daughter, it was just like any other day. Little Brother was grumpy and sat in the car as I walked Big Sister up to the kindergarten playground. I then dropped him off at day care, shedding some tears and hugging the day care owner and teachers who have known my kids since they were babies.

But, wow – 6 years. This is a big deal. Where did the time go?!

There’s a lot of great memories and love for all of the wonderful teachers who have helped shape my kiddos these past 4 – 6 years.

Overwhelmed after both drop-offs, I took a walk and decompressed a bit, enjoying a beautiful, sunny morning and reflecting on the past year(s).

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Ahh – nature, and a bit of exercise.

I am so proud of my kids and so thankful for walking along with them, as they learn and grow.

As I posted in the beginning of the school year, I hope that this summer we can enjoy, love much, and simply “live” in the moment!  Cheers & happy summer!

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Our Normal vs. Over the Top Last Day of School Ideas

I recently read “10 Ways to Celebrate School’s End with your Kids” in a local parenting newspaper. First, don’t we all love such top 10 lists? Those darn headlines just suck us in.

Anyway, back to the article.

Some ideas are fine, realistic ideas that I deem normal for our family, while others just are way over the top ideas that I will NOT be doing with my kids. I am all for making the end of school year special and celebrating my oldest completing her year as a four year old kindergartener, but let’s not get all crazy about it! I don’t want the end of the school year to eclipse even more important events, such as birthdays, Christmas and Easter.

Big sister waving goodbye on her 1st day of school. Sniff. Sniff.

Big sister waving goodbye on her 1st day of 4K. I’ll need to take an end of year picture too!

At any rate, here’s our list of normal vs. over the top ideas for the last day of school:

  1. Last Day of School Indicators – I’ll frequently say, “Honey, it’s the last day of school” to help motivate my daughter to get ready. (Article suggests taping crepe paper streamers on their door. No thanks.)
  2. Special Breakfast – In the interest of being on time and NOT missing her bus, I’ll make a normal breakfast. (Article suggests party food – an ice cream sundae with cereal topping. Hmmm…sounds like too much sugar to add to the inherent excitement of the last day. No thanks.)
  3. Plan something fun – YES, we are going to go out to eat as a family and let my daughter choose where we go. (Article says a friend’s mom rents a bounce house for the last day & has kids over for a play date. Wow! Sounds like fun, but we’ll go smaller scale.)
  4. Last day outfit – My daughter will wear whatever she chooses to leave on time. She chose her outfit on the first day as well; see picture above. Now I just have to remember to take a picture! (Article suggests a special last day of school outfit, which is not a bad idea.)
  5. Invite friends over – Check – we have two play dates this week, though not on the “BIG DAY.” I’m also trying to get done my home related chores & errands, so we can just focus on having fun on her last day of school.
  6. Plan summer activities – We will talk about our summer plans as a family. (Article suggests creating a summer bucket list as a family.)
  7. Plan stay-up-late activities – I’m sure we’ll do something fun as a family after eating out. (Article suggests a movie night & having their favorite movie snacks to keep them fed until midnight. Fortunately, a late bedtime for us is probably 8:30 – 9 pm.)
  8. Balloons – I don’t think I’ll celebrate with balloons after having to break up sibling fights about balloons and having some balloon-related injuries in our house. (Article suggests filling back of car with balloons as you pick up your kid from school.) Another over the top idea is greeting your kids with a water gun fight when they get off the bus. I think I’ll just give her a big hug instead!
  9. Stock up on summer fun – This goes back to #6. We have a fun summer planned, and I’ll probably troll Pinterest for some fun activities from time to time.
  10. Stop being a grown up for awhile – Yes, we can all stand to let loose and have fun with the last day of school.

I am certainly proud of my daughter’s first official year in school, and I look forward to celebrating and enjoying summer with her. Reading this article sort of made me feel like a “stick in the mud,” but, as with anything, I think you have to determine what makes sense for your family, and create your own traditions for big days. The excitement of the last school day is a given (for most kids & parents anyway), so I’ll be happy to play off of her mood, be silly, and have fun!

Cheers to a great school year & summer ahead!

How do you feel about these last day of school ideas?