Saturday, June 6, 2015

Kindergaten Graduation!...

Dear Brian,

Congratulations for graduating, making it through, thriving in, growing during and accomplishing much in Kindergarten! School is over which means... 

It's amazing to look at how much you've grown from the first day of Kindergarten to the last.
I remember taking you for a tour of the school bus because you were nervous to ride a bus for the first time. (Not as nervous as I was letting you!) You ended up with two of the nicest bus drivers who picked you up and dropped you off right at the top of our driveway! Mr. Ryan picked you up in the morning and Mr. O'Neill dropped you off. I loved seeing how polite and kind you were to the drivers - always saying hello and goodbye and thanking them. Don't ever lose those manners...they will take you far. Trust me! You loved riding the bus with your good friends, Daniel and Grace. Grace was always there in the window to wave to you in the morning - and you and Daniel would scream goodbye to each other as you ran down the driveway after school. As it turned out, riding the bus wasn't so scary after all! (For you, too. ha!)
I remember bringing you to school so you could meet your teachers, find out where you were sitting in the classroom and pick out your rest mat. You were so nervous! But you were able to pick out a red rest mat - your favorite color then. (now it's GOLD!)
You were so excited to find out that your coat and cubby were right next to your good friend, Grace's!!
Your teachers were wonderful. Mrs. Dunkerley and her aide, Mrs. Puliti, were kind and compassionate and boy did you learn a lot from them. It was fun to watch you flourish under their care - academically, socially and emotionally.
I will always be very grateful to these women. This was a tough year for me and one day you will understand more deeply why it was. The second year after losing your brother turned out to be harder for me than the first. I was home with a new baby - and without you. I would often tell Mrs. Dunkerley and Mrs. Puliti how much I appreciated them. They spent more hours during the day with you than I did - and became, to me, like surrogate Moms. I entrusted you to their care and boy, did they take good care of you. You really loved them and I am quite sure you won't forget them.
You had wonderful teachers for Art and Spanish and Gym. And this year you got your last year of Speech Services and enjoyed that, too!

Before school ended, you were quite upset. You didn't want to leave Kindergarten and were super nervous for First Grade. I couldn't bear to wait until the "meet and greet" with your First Grade teacher in August, so I emailed her to tell her how scared you were. She replied immediately and invited us in to meet her and get a tour of her classroom! Mrs. Korom met us after school and the three of us sat at a table in her room which was decorated in such cool ways!! She goes above and beyond in the theme department - sometimes making her classroom look like a jungle! It's really awesome. You took to her instantly and she quickly dispelled all of your fears. You were worried that there wouldn't be any toys or time to play. Nope, she told you, and showed you the legos and the instruments and the books. You were worried that it was SOOOO much work. Well, yes. But she explained that everything you already need to know is already in your head - but she has a way of almost magically pulling it out of you! And she reassured you that pulling it out of you doesn't hurt...which made you laugh. You learned that she was silly, too, which calmed your fears. As we left, she told you to tell all your friends about your visit and how First Grade looks like so much fun!
You couldn't wait to tell your best buddy, Daniel.
As school ended, you got more and more excited. Once the last day of school arrived - you were thrilled and couldn't wait for graduation...
...and SUMMER!!
On Graduation morning you got dressed up, which you loved. Especially when I told you that Hope picked your tie! She really did!! I held up two in the store and she picked that one. I even switched them around and put the tie on the opposite side and she STILL picked it!
You liked it, too, and you looked so handsome and grown up. "Just like Daddy," you said.
Daddy and I were so proud to watch you walk in to graduation so confidently with your class. 
You and your friends recited poems and sang songs and soon it was time to receive your diplomas. I admit that I shed some tears as you walked across the room so sure of yourself to shake the Principal, Mrs. Hennessey's, hand and receive your certificate.
You did it!!
You were so excited to see Granny and Aunt Bean there to celebrate with you!
After Graduation, we all went to the school cafeteria and had snacks and said temporary goodbyes to our friends.
You'll see many of your friends over the Summer at a few day camps at school which you did last year and enjoyed a lot! You'll also see them at Vacation Bible School and play dates. You also shocked us and decided to finally try soccer after finding out that a group of your friends is joining a team in town! It's going to be a great Summer before you start First Grade.

Brian, saying goodbye to you on that first day of school was tough in some ways. The two of us (and Hope, too!) had been inseparable before that. As hard as it was for ME to let you go - I knew it was so good for you. You handled the transition from half days of preschool Monday through Friday to FULL days of Kindergarten Monday through Friday with ease. I worried that the first week of school you'd be exhausted and cranky - but you came home each day excited and filled with stories about new friends and new things you'd learned.
You started Kindergarten on the shy side and weren't very assertive. You were definitely a watcher...and a follow along with what everyone else is doing kind of guy.
That definitely changed this year. I got reports that you became talkative (but not in a disruptive way!) and assertive. Sometimes almost too assertive where everything became a competition! I'm sure part of that is typical for your age. Just promise me that you don't always feel that everything has to be a competition - or that there is always a winner and a loser, ok? Thinking that way can make life - and relationships - more difficult than they have to be.

I am pleased that you're not a "sidelines" guy as much - and I hope that continues. I was a "sidelines" girl for much of my life and guess what? I am sure I missed out on a lot! You made so many good friends this year. 

The changes in you are remarkable!

If there's one thing that hasn't changed - and hopefully never will - it's your happy demeanor. You are such a happy child, Brian. You're always a joy to be around.
You always make me laugh!
And it's very rare that we have to correct you, which I appreciate so much. I just love being around you!!
Last year, the two of us went to your school on a Sunday and took "fake" First Day of School photos. We both got a big kick out of sneaking onto campus to get our shots.
And at the end of the year we snuck in on a weekend to get fake "Last Day of School" photos! This time it was a necessity since it rained for days...but the two of decided we should make this a tradition. Same spots every year - sneaking around like Ninjas. We definitely know how to make things fun, don't we?
And once again, you were cooperative and sweet as I kept saying, "This is the last one!" I know there might come a day that you really don't want any more pictures taken, so for now I'm going to keep snapping away. I don't want to miss a second in front of or behind my camera.
Daddy, Hope, Gavin and I are all so proud of you. We know you're going to ROCK First Grade!!
Of course we had to celebrate. And there's no better place to celebrate than Arnold's Family Fun Center, right??!!??
We played Skee Ball... light Mini Golf...
...and you spent tons of time in the bounce houses. This time, you had company: HOPE! She was so determined to go up the ladder and down the slide, so you helped her accomplish that!
The two of you had so much fun together!
We ended the day with a "make your own pizza" dinner - something you love to do. You asked me to write "Brian Graduated!" on your chef hat!
and Daddy...
...and Hope were all happy to celebrate you on your special day.
We love you, Brian!!
And now that you have your end of school year buzz cut... 
let's go have an EPIC SUMMER!!!!!!


  1. Wow!! You made me tear up! As a mom who chose to work outside the house (for many different reasons) and someone who literally did not miss a single first word or step or many other milestones, I did miss taking pictures like these. We have pictures of the first day of kindergarten all through the first day of senior year of high school at the same tree in our front yard. I missed getting a picture the day of hs graduation. We were running late and then for some reason the time passed and now it's a year later and still no picture. No picture for the first day of college either. I shipped her off to Cambridge, MA from Central Utah by herself as both of her parents had already started the school year and couldn't take the time to fly or drive the 2500 miles for her first day.
    Keep taking pictures and posting your thoughts. You will never regret keeping track of the little and big things in life.

  2. Congratulations Brian!! You rocked Kindergarten and I know you'll rock 1st grade. Here in England our school don't finish until July for summer, so we have a while to go until our kids leave school, my girls are sooooooo jealous of you!! Have a brilliant summer all of you xo


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