Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Turning the last page

Today was a very emotional day for me. It was Sunny's "graduation day" from kindergarten. Tomorrow is the last day of school but since there is a lot going on in school with the graduation of the school kids the kindergarteners had their "graduation" today. The parents were not invited (which was absolutely okay). I know that it is hard for the teachers, too, to have the kids leave they cared three years for.

In the morning I met with some other parents in order to hand over a surprise gift card for a very good restaurant to the teachers. None of them knew we were going to come so it was a big surprise and they were all very excited about the gift card. We visited them during their break so we sat down with them and had a small chat and something to drink together.

I returned to kindergarten in the afternoon to pick Sunny up instead of putting him on the bus because I wanted to say goodbye to the teachers, too. So I went there about 15 minutes before kindergarten was over. They all sat together at the table and had something to drink (it was really hot today!) when I came so I sat down as well and was given something to drink, too. Sunny was happy to see me and called my name. That was so sweet!

Sunny's teacher then told me about the "graduation": the kids got their farewell presents and unpacked them. They played together, then came the ice cream van and all the kids got some ice cream. After that all the kids going to school showed their satchels on some kind of "catwalk". We just bought ours yesterday and everyone thought that we really picked out a cool one. Sunny's kindergarten backpack has a shark on it and his satchel has the theme with a shark again. Buying a satchel for a school kid to-be is always a big deal here.

Before kindergarten is over the kids sit down in the hall together with the teachers and sing a farewell song each day. One of the kids chose today's song to sing and while it is just a farewell song it made me so sad in the context of today that my tears started to flow.   

After all the other kids were on the bus I talked to the teachers some more and when we exchanged our hugs and farewell wishes the tears rolled again. Sunny's main teacher comforted me and said that she was sure everything will be fine. I am really not good at saying goodbye. It feels strange and awkward and sad not so see them again after three long years where we shared so many things and I opened up my heart to them and searched for advice more than once. It is always so hard for me to leave people behind that I built such a relationship with. They were an important part of my life.

When I came home and unpacked the presents from the satchel I was so touched when I saw them.

The first thing I found was a beautiful T-Shirt with the handprints of all the kindergarten kids:

The rest of the prints are on the back of the shirt
Then I saw an awesome photo album containing carefully chosen pictures of the last three years, accompanied with funny and lovely texts.

The third thing we got was a stretched canvas that used to hang on a wall in kindergarten. On it is a photo of Sunny together with his name and date of birth and a picture (rather some pattern) that he painted on it. It already found its place in our living room.

Tonight, when I wrote my last entry into our communication book for the teacher to read tomorrow I let the tears flow freely. I hope I could make it clear to her and her colleagues how thankful I am for everything. Incidentally, the communication book is almost filled and there are only two pages left for the teacher. Tomorrow we will close this chapter of Sunny's life for good and open a new one in September - hopefully filled with much love and compassion from his new teacher.





14 comments:

  1. You should print and share this post with his teachers, my friends. I can feel your joy and heartache in every word. It is a beautiful testament to his teachers that they have loved and cared for not just your son but his mama.

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    1. You said that so well, they cared for me, too, and were an important part of my life. Sigh.

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  2. Oh Joy this sounds like such a bittersweet day, but treasure the memories and go forward knowing that more wonderful ones are yet to be made *hugs*

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    1. Thank you Lizzy, I will do so. I might just need a few days to digest it all.

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  3. Aw I love the t-shirt! It's only natural that you feel sad saying good bye to the people you share so many things with for three years, I'm sure they are sad too but happy and proud of Sunny and all his accomplishments during the time they spend with him. I totally understand your tears, I too couldn't stop them from falling as I was saying good bye to Sophia's teachers. I'm sure Sunny is going to do great next year. Love your post and I can relate so much!

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    1. Thank you so much! Yes, they are very happy and very proud and just yesterday they told me about so many things that he learned during the last year. It feels good to know that people can relate!

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  4. As a mother of a special needs 17yo daughter, I don't think we can ever truly close the chapter on this part of a child's life. It's always rattling around in our brian, open for interpretation, and there displayed for appreciation whenever we look at a picture or piece of art carefully made from that era. For every experience our child has adds to the person he or she is and will become. You've certainly found such joy in your experiences with kindergarten. Just remember it's about turning the page, not closing a chapter. It's a subtle difference, but boy, is it an important one!

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    1. Thank you so much for your comment. And thank your for pointing out the difference in that. From that point of view I totally agree! :-)

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  5. Oh my goodness, I almost wonder if this transition will be harder on you than Sunny. It sounds like it was very emotional, but I can't imagine it means you have to completely fall out of touch.

    Sounds like you had a great sharing of gifts, memories, and words going both ways and I'm sure they were just as appreciative as you!

    That shirt is awesome, and his shark bag sounds cool. A picture of that would be sweet :-)

    I'm definitely in agreement with Brielle "...turning the page, not closing a chapter." A great way to express it!

    Jak at The Cryton Chronicles & Dreams in the Shade of Ink

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    1. It is probably really so: it is harder for me than for him. Right now. However, I will have to wait and see how it will be when school starts and he has to get used to many new things. He is not aware right now that something will change in his life.

      Of course I will try to stay in touch but it will not be the same.

      I will include the shark satchel in my Pictures of the week post. Thank you for asking! xo

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  6. Joy,
    Just reading this is making my tears flow because I know exactly how you feel about getting so attached to Sunny's teachers. I am very very attached to Tucker's main teacher and have already cried in front of her about one year from now when we will transition from preschool to kindergarden (at a different school even). I do know that Tucker's teacher will stay in our lives though - I fully plan to call her as often as I feel like! (I hope she will be ok with that)
    That tshirt is awesome! What a cool idea (and also glad to read that you do have a communication book - didn't realize that in your other post about next year and having one). Hugs, Joy. I love this post. It's so bittersweet and I agree with Kerri that you should share it with Sunny's teachers. XO

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    1. Oh, you already cried a year ahead? I love you! You know, when I was told last year that Sunny needs to go to school this year I cried, too. A lot. My sister in mind! xoxo

      The relationships of teachers and parents are not as personal as they seem to be in the US, at least from what I read on different blogs. I would never call Sunny's teacher privately! It is very uncommon here to go beyond the professional relationships.

      Thank you, as always, for your kindness and love! xo

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  7. We recently said good-bye to our Early Intervention coordinator. I understand how hard they can be. Onward and upward as my husband says to me.

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    1. Onward and upward. I have to remember this one. Your husband is smart! I like that! Thanks for taking the time to comment!

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