It was the first day of Kindergarten. It was now the last day of Kindergarten. It seemed like I was just dropping you off for your first day.
It’s been a year of learning, maturity, and self-discovery.
Your biggest achievement? You began as a pre-reader in September, jumped four reading levels in one year and are now reading independently. We still read together in the evening, you read a book and then I read a book or two or three. However, once you are tucked in with kisses and a “good night sweet dreams”, you ask for one more book. As the last light of day fades away, I hear you reading from the other room. You always loved learning about the world. Science class only expanded your thirst for knowledge and understanding. You still ask a million questions a day, but now you have theories about why things do this or things do that.
We learned to do homework. The steady cadence of doing your best work with every project. Reading logs. Math pages with patterns and counting. You learned to count by 5s and 10s. Writing and illustrating in your journal. My favorite homework moment was when you took a squiggly line and made a picture out of it. You drew hills and trees with a sunset. Below you wrote, “This is non-fiction.” It made me laugh when I read your paper. When I asked why, you said, “It’s the view from our house, so it’s true.”
We went to book fairs and carnivals. There were Halloween and Chinese New Year parades. Birthday parties. Valentines exchanges. You went to the father-daughter dance. We participated the hilarious chaos of movie night in the school gym. We attended the school musical. You made me the most beautiful card and handprint for Mother’s Day. I watched you sing your heart out at the Spring Sing with your classmates.
You made best friends. Friends who love art as much as you. You play a “kitty” game where you all pretend to be cats. It’s adorable.
You were “bossy” at the beginning of the year, but with the help of your teachers, you transformed it into leadership. You helped set up the tables and hand out papers. Your teacher says you have strong opinions, however you now share them respectfully.
Your first “First Place.” You earned a first place blue ribbon in this year’s Jog-A-Thon. Around lap fifteen you had a stitch in your side, but you kept running and completed eighteen laps. Over two miles in 20 minutes. You were proud of yourself and so was I.
Artistic growth through exposure to other artists both peers and famous ones. I had such a hard time choosing what to keep from the piles of artwork you brought home this year. The refrigerator can’t possible show it all; one could say I would need a giant refrigerator to tell your story.
You were excited to pick up your first yearbook. We ran to the table and purchased one, you tucked in your backpack. By the time I saw you after school, all your classmates had signed it. No clever sayings, no “See you next year!”, or “Don’t ever change!” comments. Just simple names scribbled across the pages. However, your teachers wrote very thoughtful notes… “I love your scientific curiosity and artistic talent!” and “You are a great artist and writer, a computer scientist and scientist, a good leader, and fashionista… You have it all!”
Your report card improved every time. You ended your year with “Exceptional” marks in all work study and social development categories. Academically, you were at or above grade level in every subject. At the end of the report card, Mrs. Barnes marked the box, “Promoted.”
You grew taller. You lost more teeth. You grew up just a little bit more.
You cultivated a deep passion for learning. You looked forward to school every day. I want you to feel like this about your entire educational journey. You are proud of your accomplishment this year and so am I.
You can’t wait for first grade and I can’t wait to see what you will do next!
Video is from the Spring Sing on the day before the last day of the school year. The song, “Will I ever grow Up”, made me cry, it was just so sweet and sad all at the same time.