Saturday, June 27, 2015

A graduation surprise party

Last Wednesday was Andrew’s Kindergarten graduation.  My ‘baby boy’ is going into Grade One in the fall, how did that happen so fast?!  Where did this past year go?!!  It’s crazy to think about.  It literally feels like yesterday that we were checking out the school and we weren’t even sure if it was where we wanted Andrew to go, and now he’s done his whole first year and I don’t worry for one second that it was the wrong place for him to be, because it was a completely positive first year experience.  I love his school and all the staff, I couldn’t imagine not having got to know the people that we did this school year.

James and I went to the ceremony while my mom stayed with the girls, since they would be napping at least through part of it.  The ceremony was nice, just done in the classroom so fairly low key.  I had felt teary beforehand but didn’t have tears during the ceremony.  It was just really cute watching the kids go up when their name was called, and have the teacher tell us how they answered two questions: One thing you learned in Kindergarten, and What do you want to be when you grow up.  Andrew’s answers were: That it takes 3 days to get a cold after you’ve got the germs from someone (LOL) and Robotic Engineer.  (He’s wanted to be a ‘robot builder’ since he was 3!)

After the diplomas were given out (which my mom did the writing for!) the teacher put on a slideshow she’d made of the year.  It was really sweet, and I did feel a bit emotional watching it, because you could really see how all the kids have grown over the year.  I spent a fair bit of time with the kids helping out and I feel like they’re all comfortable around me and I got to know them a bit, and their different personalities.  So it was sad to realize that it won’t be the same next year, and some of the kids are moving so we might never see them again.  

After the slideshow we hung around and took pictures and the kids each had a little piece of cake, and then Andrew and I went around and got some of the other teachers in the school to sign his yearbook before we went home.  

I should mention that in the morning we had gone around and handed out the little gifts we made for all the teachers.  I told Andrew when we were planning what to get for his own teacher, that if there were any others he wanted to give something to as a thank you, we would come up with a cute little gift for them.  It turned out that with his teacher included, there were TWELVE staff members that he wanted to give to!!  So I turned to Pinterest for ideas, and then put my own spin on what I liked.  I got a few packages of these little brown paper gift bags, and added a packet of seeds for flowers as well as a really cute sunflower made with burlap from the dollar store (they came in bunches of 3 so I just cut each flower off and each bag had one).  Then I printed labels for the front of the bags that said, ‘Thank you for helping me grow this year!’ and Andrew signed his name underneath.  He added a special note to the main recess and lunch monitor, who he ADORES, (and she gave him a card and wrote me a letter that DID get me choked up, I even cried a bit when I read it to James later, it was so heartfelt!) and for his teacher we added a dollar store gift card (so she can buy some school supplies for her next class) and Andrew picked out a pretty necklace for her at the mall.  Also from Pinterest I found a sheet that asks a bunch of questions about what he’ll miss about his teacher and what he learned etc, and he filled it out and drew a little picture of her.  It was super cute, and she loved it, and all the other staff were charmed by his little self, because he seriously is a little Mr. Charming!  The girls also helped hand out the gifts, and they of course were a big hit, too!

When we got home Andrew was SOOOO over the moon excited, because we threw him his very first ever SURPRISE PARTY!  It was very low key as it just involved us and my parents, but he was completely OK with that.  He had a Spiderman helium balloon waiting for him, as well as about 15 regular balloons all over the living room, and some presents, a cake, and yummy nibblies.  He was SO happy.  I realized that I had never kept a party secret from him before, any time we’ve celebrated anything he’s always known about it in advance.  So this was an extra special party because he was completely taken by surprised.  It was really sweet, I was happy to honour him because he’s come so far in the past year, and it definitely felt worth celebrating.  I know some people are against the whole ‘Kindergarten graduation’ thing, but personally I think it’s a big milestone, because for a lot of kids it really is the first introduction to school, and being that it’s full time it’s a pretty big transition.

It was a great day.  There were a few hitches along the way but I’ll save that for a future ‘blooper’ post…!!!

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