Remember three years ago when Connor ended his time at our beloved Waldorf school? I do. Like it was yesterday. Helen, too, has ended her stint at Waldorf school. And this time, it was even harder to say good-bye. Oh, we'll go back for the fall festival and maybe the auction dinner for a few years - but realistically, our time at the school has ended.
There will be no more daily trips to South Arlington - no more juggling cars and different start times to make sure each child ends up at the right place at the right time each morning.
There will also be no more playground drop-offs. Unlike Connor, Helen knows this is coming. I still get choked up when I think of that first morning dropping Connor off in first grade. I knew he was in good hands. And I'm desperately hoping that Helen will be placed in those same good hands. But still, when you spend three years of your life being dropped off on the playground, it's quite jarring to be dropped off in a classroom - with desks - that are used for sitting!
In her first grade readiness evaluation, Helen's teacher had no doubt she was ready to move on. But he also noted that Helen has a shy side. She didn't show this often in Kindergarten this past year, but when faced with something new, Helen will turn inwards. She'll wait and watch until she figures something out, these days, and then she'll try and do it better than anyone else. Sometimes, this is a winning strategy. Sometimes, this is a strategy that results in a lot of anxiety. I have a feeling we'll both be doing a lot of slow breathing these next few months.
Helen's last handwork project in Kindergarten was making a sword. She cut the wood, fitted it together, sanded it carefully, and sewed a case to keep it in. She loves this sword. She's ready to take on the world.
At her year-end class picnic, Helen jumped rope for so long, her teacher nearly ran out of songs to sing. Helen was not only pleased, she shouted to me the glory of her accomplishment. Will there be anyone to turn the rope for her daily next year - or support whatever new thing she tries to tackle?
Helen, you are more ready than you could possibly know to take on the next phase of your life. I only wish I was as ready to say good-bye!
And kudos to my mom. She made the dress Helen is wearing when I was a little girl. I loved that dress, and remember showing anyone who would watch how far it would twirl out. At her current school, she is the envy of all her friends in that dress. Will the new girls in her class understand the fabulousness of this dress? Or will they only see it as not something girls typically wear?