Today, My Son Graduates From Elementary School

Today, my oldest son graduates from elementary school. Some would say that in the grand scheme of things, an elementary school graduation is rather insignificant. I disagree. To me, elementary school graduation is the first big step on the stairway to adulthood.

My son has spent the entirety of his 11 years guiding me as I learn how to do this parenting thing. With every passing milestone, I follow his lead, venturing ginger, uncertain steps behind him as he marches forward with steadfast confidence. While I cling to the idea that he is still my baby, he forges ever forward in his journey towards adulthood, his every step setting the stage for the siblings who come after him. Together, my son and I navigate the path between “first time mom” and “seasoned parent.”

It feels like a lifetime ago that I first stepped through the doors of his elementary school. Overwhelmed by the sea of children, I clung to my boy, each of us teary eyed and anxious, surrounded by strangers, uncertain of what our future would bring. Minutes later, he was enveloped in the loving arms of his Kindergarten teacher, who assured me with a warm smile and gentle pat on the shoulder that it would all be just fine. Watching them walk off hand in hand, his steps becoming more confident as they made their way down the hallway, I once again took his lead. But this time, his lesson to me was to step back. To trust in those whose chosen life path was to educate children, my precious boy included. Six hours later, I met my son in the pick up line, and immediately noticed that something had changed. Teary eyes and quivering lips had been replaced by an exuberant smile. Uncertainty about school had been replaced by a lust for learning that has yet to wane.

His teachers through the years have done so much more than “just teach” him. They have nurtured his interests, comforted him in times of need, laughed with him in times of joy, shared with him inside jokes and life stories, and given him a community of trusted adults.

And so I thank you –

Mrs. Peloquin and Mrs. Brignolo

Mrs. Collins and Mrs. Farber

Mrs. Briggs

Mrs. Balutis

Mrs. Trochez

Mrs. Davidson and Ms. D’Intino

And all of the specialists, paraprofessionals, assistants and coaches too numerous to name individually:

Thank you for guiding Damon through this part of his childhood. For bolstering his love of learning, for showing him respect, for challenging him, for being there when he needed a listening ear, and for simply making him feel safe and loved.

And thank you for guiding me through. For teaching me to trust in others. For giving me the comfort of knowing that he is in capable, loving hands. And for allowing me to quietly tread the steps of being a first time mom, watching my baby grow up.





Happy First Day Back from April Vacation!

Sunday night/last night of school vacation Deanna: “I have all of the school stuff organized, the kids are in bed at a normal time, and tomorrow morning is going to go smoothly.”

Monday morning/first day of school after April vacation Deanna: “Fnjiuagntfneuhagft.” (this roughly translates to: “Why do you get out of bed at dawn during vacation, but suddenly need beauty sleep on a school morning? Where did the backpacks go? How do you only have one shoe!? Yes, I need to do your hair, you look like Don King. Where is the bab….GET THE BOX OF CEREAL AWAY FROM THE BABY BEFORE HE DUMPS…someone clean up the cereal from inside the couch. Did you change your underwear? Yessssss this has to be done DAILY. Why is there chalk on the dog?”)

On the positive side, I am certain that I dropped the right ones off at school. Slightly less certain that they were all wearing socks, but – you can’t win them all. As long as the girl child doesn’t remove a sneaker and take out her teacher with the stench of her feet – I count it as a successful school drop off. (And if she did take off a shoe….well, I am sincerely sorry. And I owe you air fresheners.  And potentially therapy.)

I did get a chance to stop and smell the flowers this morning. Yes, actually. Fleeting reminders that life is beautiful. Even when it does involve stinky feet.