Thursday, June 14, 2012

Beginnings Are Scary, Endings are Sad, But It's The Middle That Counts

Today was the last day of Crickets for Emma.  For those that have been reading along with our many adventures, you may remember that in September Em headed to preschool (or "camp" as it was initially called, later to be referred to simply as "Crickets").  I blogged about her first day here.  Originally we had planned to send her again next year but after much discussion (in the wake of Dave switching jobs) we ultimately decided that this would be her one and only year of Crickets. It was a very hard decision as we all felt a wonderful connection with this amazing community.  No one was phased that we were unschoolers, in fact, on more than one occasion people said how much they loved that we were unschooling.  And as luck would have it we were not the only homeschool family who had a child at Crickets!  Everything about this program is what (pre)school should be.  The staff is incredible.  Their days are incredible.  The amount of time spent outside.  The embracing of teachable moments.  The interactions with animals.  The multi-age group.  I could go on forever but I won't. I will leave it simply as this: In the wake of the less than stellar experience that was Grace's preschool experience this program is what we all needed!

In order to thank the amazing teachers we came up with the idea that flower pots should be painted and flowers planted. It seemed only fitting that we give the staff of a nature based preschool flower pots and flowers!  It was truly a family affair as we all had a hand in creating these gifts. 

Once the pots were dry it was time to plant the flowers.  Dave picked some flowers up on his way home from work and then Emma got to choose which plant went to which teacher. 
Which brings us to today.  After lunch we gathered everything we needed to bring with us and headed to Crickets.  As I drove out for the final drop off of the year I found myself getting really sad.  I reflected on all the amazingness that was this experience and found myself wishing that this was not the absolute last day of what was such an incredible journey.  We arrived and Emma handed each of her teachers their plants.  I wish that I had an extra pair of hands so that I could have taken pictures in addition to coordinating the gift giving, but it was not to be.  Just imagine how sweet Em looked carrying each of these plants to her beloved teachers. It is a memory that I will carry with me always.  After the gifts were given Grace and I hung around for a little bit to chat and play.  
Finally we had to pry ourselves away.  Before I hopped into the drivers seat I turned and looked back to see what had become such a familiar scene:
Grace and I then headed out to have a Grace and Mama adventure together. Ice cream was on the menu and a little bit of shopping too.  After all our fun was had we headed back to Crickets to pick Em up.  We arrived a little early and as luck would have it the Crickets closing circle was going to be held outside! I was so happy that we got to be there for their final circle. It was very special and I was way more emotional about it than I expected to be.  This is where wearing my "Jackie Kennedy" size sunglasses truly comes in handy! Mama shed more than her fair share of tears while watching the final moments of the Crickets time together. 
"Wait! Mommy needs to take a picture!"
It was such a truly spectacular day! The perfect ending to the perfect experience!  I am so eternally grateful that Em had the chance to be a Cricket, and David and I have said on more than one occasion how much we wish that Grace could have been there too.  A special thank you to Paula, Mary and Rina for making this experience so much more wonderful than we ever could have imagined!  You three will forever hold a very special place in our hearts. 

2 comments:

  1. Wow, it looks like such and amazing preschool, happy to hear she enjoyed it. Memories made that will last a lifetime.

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  2. Oh Kim it's just more amazing than we ever could have imagined! Such a magical place! Reece would love it there! It really hit me as I was falling asleep last night how much I am so going to miss being a part of that community. We all had such a great time, but Emma especially!

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