kindergarten. a year completed.

Kindergarten is no joke in our district. It's full day, obviously. She leaves the house at 7:15 and she doesn't return until 2:20 when I meet her at the bus stop. Her classroom is small and cluttered and warm. The tables and chairs are close together.... They use ancient old lockers to store their belongings that they kids have decorated with posters and photos and stickers. They only get 20 minutes to eat their entire lunch, and most of it comes home with her. She has to read fifteen minutes each night and memorize power words and sight words and do math and penmanship and geometry and and and and. All that to say that our idea of what kindergarten was based on our own experience when we were five is not what it is today.
This year has held so much change for her. She's grown in every way possible way. She's discovered that not only does she love to run but she is quite good at it! She answers questions when asked and sometimes even before. She lost a tooth! She has so much more confidence. She insisted that I let her cut her hair. She has made so many new friends and picked up all sorts of mannerisms along the way... She reads! A bit, but she does! She finally got that tricky letter 'y' to sit on the line in her name. She loves to write and boy did I have the huge pile of cards and notes and journals to prove it! She loves gym and art and math the most. This year has sort of beat us all up a bit and we are all exhausted and haggard and ready for the summer and the lack of schedules, but it was still such a great year!
When I think back to how I was feeling last August (lost, sad, scared, nervous, panicked, you name it) and then consider the past year, you know I think I did alright? When I reread my letter to her before she started school you know what? I pretty much got all I wished for for her, minus the grand descriptions of her day. It really wasn't as terrible, losing my child to kindergarten, as I thought it would be. Sure I cried a lot at first and I missed her always, but it didn't kill me, despite my worst fears. I didn't feel that hole in my chest every day, all day like I thought I would. Sure I redecorated our entire house and sure I had no idea what to expect at every step along the way... But I met lots of nice moms who took me under their wing and answered all my incessant questions... And we kept ourselves busier than I ever thought we would be and the year went by way too quickly, which in and of itself is a whole other issue. What do you mean she's done with kindergarten?! Already!? Cannot be! I cannot have a first grader, no no no no no! Guess this is a cruel trick that I'll always be dealing with...
On her last day Friday past, we got her up as per the usual, breakfast with her iPad and the whole routine...We sent her off with hugs and hand kisses and a see you soon my love! Before we knew it the bus was bringing her right back to us for the final time of the year! And I stood there like a loon clapping and cheering! Although I hear all the other stops in our development had water guns? Duly noted! Prepare yourselves Olsen children, next year mommy and daddy shall come armed to to the teeth with water weaponry! When asked how she wanted to spend her last day she said she wanted to go have lunch at Panera Bread followed by a slushie from Sheetz, and I mean, sure kid, whatever you want, I'll get you the moon I have missed you so! And yeah, I showered before going out in public. The end of the year I really let myself go and ran after she left for the day. Ha! See also, her daddy and daily drop off chauffeur!
Just as in year's past I asked her some particular questions re: school... And I suppose I should be happy that I got any answer at all, even if it was a succinct one.

Who is your best friend at school? Sylvie.

What was the best part of school? Recess! Because of the monkey bars.

What was your favorite thing you learned this year? Math! Because I like when we like add and take away.

What will you miss the most? Ms. Carino. Because she teaches us.

What are you looking forward to most this summer? Staying up late!

She said she cried to herself in the hallway on the last day because she already missed her teacher. I imagine that's hard on them all, being with someone all the live long day for all the school year long and then poof! Where does she go? When will you see her again? She was such a wonderful teacher too... Sigh. All that to say, we are just so happy that school is out for summer and that we have our Letty Bet back with us! School is hard! 

Letty's first day of Kindergarten. Annnd because I am a glutton for punishment here is Letty's last day of pre-k and her last day of preschool. Sniff!