Boy, I hate that song. I cried when I heard it at my own high school graduation, and I cried when I heard it last night at Griffin’s preschool graduation. Though Michael pointed out that “commencement” actually means “beginning,” so it’s not the end…really.
But it is. My middle baby is leaving behind the preschool years and heading off to kindergarten! I wasn’t nearly this emotional at this stage with Meghan, though I think that is because our lives were in total upheaval when she finished preschool – we were moving, I was pregnant, Michael was starting a new job…that, and her graduation “ceremony” wasn’t nearly as formal. Her preschool was in her teacher’s basement, and although the teacher was very good and the kids loved her, we secretly called her “the preschool Nazi” – not a very warm person, and I was frankly terrified of her!
But not Ms. Natalie. Oh, how I love Ms. Natalie!!! Griffin’s teachers are PHENOMENAL. He started this year not nearly ready for kindergarten (even though he had just turned 5) – couldn’t sit still, couldn’t pay attention, couldn’t keep his hands to himself. He daily reaffirmed our decision to wait another year for kindergarten. But something amazing happened under the careful eye and nurturing of his amazing teachers. They set high expectations and gently nudged this class of 8 boys and 4 girls towards preschool excellence, all the while being totally cool and getting down to their level. Griffin and Ms. Natalie talked about the Mavericks and American Idol and all his favorite things. He learned to read and do math – simple adding and grouping, and he learned (miracle of miracles!) to sit, pay attention, take turns, raise his hand, walk quietly in the halls and glory! keep his hands to himself!!! He LOVED going to school.
Ms. Anne was Ms. Natalie’s assistant teacher, and she is a hoot. She is from England, and she taught the kids to refer to the potties as “the loo,” and every day, they would have a “loo checker” – the highlight of Griffin’s week was when he got to check the loos to make sure they were all flushed and clean! She also hosted an English tea party for the kids, and that was a big hit.
Griffin is more than ready to begin kindergarten, which is fantastic…but I am really going to miss Ms. Natalie. She is one gifted, amazing woman with a heart for 5 year old boys.
Here are some pictures from their program…
Griffin was hysterical…he really got into the songs and danced his patootie off!