Here’s Hazel walking out the door on her last day of Kindergarten. Doesn’t she look confident? Old? Smart? Secure?Here she is on her first day. Cute as a button. But look at that face, a little apprehensive. So much wonder at what this wide world is going to present to her.
Kindergarten is an amazing place. I had such a hard time deciding if I should send Hazel to first grade or kindergarten (she missed the deadline for kindergarten a year ago by 10 days, so we “home schooled” her to try to prepare her for first grade. She was prepared and cleared to go to first grade, but we (together with Hazel) decided that she didn’t want to miss Kindergarten. She could tell there was something there that she needed. And she was right. I was surprised by all the things she learned and how well she grew into herself. Something about being so old and well prepared has done wonders for her confidence. I got to volunteer weekly in her class for a good chunk of the year and I loved seeing her in that environment. Quiet and conscientious and on task and helpful. A little worried about doing the right thing all the time. And, completely loved by all of her classmates. Everyday as we left to walk home nearly every child in her class would call out to her and wave good bye. That’s exactly what I wanted her to learn in kindergarten.
During the last week of school Hazel preformed in her Kindergarten class play. She was one of two gingerbread men. The class acted out a whole series of classic children’s stories, directed and produced by her classmate Penelope’s mom, Therese. They were all adorable. I was so happy that Therese volunteered so much of her time to make this happen. That class (and Hazel especially) needed some creative outlet. Half hour of music and art a week just isn’t enough arts in my book (especially for kindergarteners who soak that kind of stuff up and are so darn creative!).Here’s Hazel on field day with her Kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Lievense. Boy does this woman know how to run a tight ship! She had those kids in line all the time and was able to teach them so much. I think she’s got one of the hardest jobs in the world. Taking all those kids, most of whom have never been in school for a full day every day and who have such varying degrees of knowledge and ability and somehow getting them to all gel into one cohesive group. She did a great job. Here I was trying to snap a picture of what Hazel looks like when she comes out of school each day. The teacher points at me and then she typically sports a huge grin and runs to me. For some reason on the last day of school she forgot to wear her smile. She was moody as all get out. I’m still not sure exactly why. Maybe she was sad or worried about being done with kindergarten. Maybe she “broke up” with her best friend (that happens a lot). Maybe those darn high heels that she insisted on wearing made her grumpy (high heels always make me grumpy). Whatever it was, she didn’t snap out of it until the boys started getting in the pictures. Check it.
Darn. It’s already beginning. I’m in some serious trouble when she rolls into her teens.
Here she is with the assistant principle, Mr. McCarthy. I love that man. He makes them all feel so loved and enjoyed and secure. I’ve come to learn that that is a real gift and so important when working with kids.
Hazel is pretty excited about summer time. She told me that the thing she’s most excited about is being able to hang out with Emmeline all day. She’s been reminding Emmeline every day for two weeks that once she’s done with Kindergarten she gets to stay home and play all day. I love it that these two are such good friends. Hoping it will last.
One last video here. You’ve got to watch this. It made me laugh and cry all at once.
I guess they said it right, if she can make it in Kindergarten she can make it anywhere.
Here she comes 1st grade!