Just the other day, Ava took her final steps towards kindergarten.
As part of the end of year activities, Ava’s preschool held a “Celebration of Children” for the students and families.
No caps. No gowns. Just a simple ceremony with songs and a short walk over a bridge.
At the preschool fundraiser this past spring, I bid and won the front row seats for the main event.
It was a snug fit squeezing all eight of us in, but we made it work. The biggest cheering section for one excited little girl. Proud parents, grandparents, and one excited little sister.
It was a fun day all around. Ava got a manicure and pedicure at the local salon down the road. A treat from my mom. Tiny pink fingers and toes, decorated with delicate white flowers.
We had her favorite spaghetti dinner and picked up a decadent chocolate cake for dessert.
She wore a pretty pink dress and new sandals. Her favorite silver locket was around her neck.
Miss Mary, the preschool director, welcomed everyone. Father Craig lead a blessing of the children.
The kids split up into groups; each singing a special song. Ava’s group sang “It’s a small world.”
Mia’s eyes glowed with joy as she sang along with each group. She can’t wait to go the preschool next year.
Each child walked over a low honey colored bridge while our preschool director, Miss Mary, announced what each child wanted to be when he or she grew up.
The list of careers were long and varied. Some of the more popular choices were doctor, police officer, astronaut, fireman, artist, or mommy. We also had a plumber, hair dresser, spy, hockey player, and queen. Kids have no limits and dream the biggest dreams.
Then it was Ava’s turn to walk over the bridge. She got to the top and Miss Mary said, “When Ava grows up, she wants to be….. Ariel.”
She will want to be Ariel for a short period of time. A small sparkle in time. I appreciated the uniqueness of her answer.
Closing out the program, they gathered all the kids to sing “Special Me.” A sweet chorus set to the twinkle twinkle little star melody. Some sang with great gusto, some looked around, and others shyly mouthed the words.
Miss Mary closed it out thanked all the parents. The kids filed out into the parish hall.
Cookies and old-fashioned ice cream punch was served. Children with inordinate amounts of sugar in their bodies bounded around the room.
I snapped a photo of Ava with her teachers. They have been an integral part of her growth this past year.
She also cultivated close friendships and even had her first crush.
All in all, she has grown up into a bright, artistic, and thoughtful five-year old.
Yet preschool was just the beginning. That night’s accomplishment was the tiniest of promotions in her long educational journey.
As the words of the last song floated through my mind….
“Special, special, special me
How I wonder what I’ll be
In this big world I can be
Anything I want to be
Special, special, special me
How I wonder what I’ll be.”
I think to myself…
Whomever Ava becomes, I know she’ll be amazing.
Congratulations my sweet girl.