This morning, I dropped Helen off at her Morning Glory class for the last time ever. Next year, she will be in the Oak Tree class, and as much as I know she will love it, I'm marking this morning as my saddest parenting day yet. She will miss class so much.
This year, she has learned a ton of funny games. One evening, she surprised us by teaching us a game that required a small stick. Ed and I had no idea how we were going to make a stick materialize in the children's bedroom at bedtime, but Helen did. She had carefully squirreled one away early in the day, so when we said "I'm sorry Helen, I don't think we have a stick up here", she happily announced "I know where one is!" and though Ed and I doubted her, she went right to her previously hidden booty and showed us the stick. Well played, Helen, well played.
Miss A. and Miss K. will both be leaving the school. That's too bad for all the children yet to come. For as much as I know the next teacher will be remarkable in her own way, it won't be this pair. Together, they were great.
Every morning, the two of them greeted Helen with a smile. Most days, Helen was happy to bound off without even a glance back, though there were lots of days she'd shout "see you later, alligator" and I might respond "bye, bye, butterfly". Funny enough, we started the year this way, and we ended it this way this morning. "Don't forget your vanilla, you silly gorilla!"
Helen has played with nearly every child in her classroom. She has tales to tell about all of them, and often mimics their speech pattern in the evening. Pure comedy, I tell you. Helen is blessed with particularly clear speech ("funder" recently turned into "thunder", even!). She's also blessed with a very good ear and the ability to mimic other people's accents, missing r's, internally scrambled consonants and the like. I'm glad that almost all of these children will be in class with her next year. Although a few are leaving and that's sad.
From the moment Helen and I walked into Potomac Crescent Waldorf School, Helen has looked forward to being dropped off, and was just thrilled that this was her year. She owned it. In every way possible, she owned it.
For a time, she would greet every single child with a huge smile and hello when they entered the playground, as if they were the most important people in the whole world to her. I loved this. I wish I could take credit for it. But it's not me, that's just how Helen is. She's happy. She's surrounded by people who love her, and she wants the whole world to feel loved. If she could wrap us all in her little arms, she would.
I could never possibly thank Miss A. and Miss K. enough for the way they've watched Helen blossom this year, and I'm dreadfully sorry that it is unlikely Helen will hold many of these memories very long. She's just too young. But, we have a special doll and sling made by Miss A., and of course, the star child she was gifted for her birthday. I'm hoping these are always special touchstones for Helen.
For our class gift, each child / parent was asked to contribute something small to hang on a wreath. Helen did a little piece of finger knitting that I turned into a flower. Miss A. had sent me a link to a website showing me how to do it at the beginning of the year when Helen had fire balled into a finger knitting stage.
At today's picnic, Helen spent time soaking up her two newest friends, and even scored an afternoon playdate with one of them. A more thrilled child you have never seen. And the mom of the playdate extended a standing invitation for Helen to come over anytime. I'm sure we'll be taking advantage of that offer.
And now...onto summer!