The moment had finally arrived. Much anticipation, preparation, angst and excitement shroud today's celebration. It's Lena's graduation from preschool. I am so proud of my munchkin! She is one of the youngest to be involved in this program. She survived her first year of being in school every day, her first exposure to girl drama and a classroom dominated by double the amount of boys.
The "perfect" graduation outfit was chosen; we were all directed to dress accordingly. Every moment of the morning was dictated by our future kindergartner. It was time to head off to the final hurrah. I wanted to take a picture of the girls on the last day of school and couple it with the one from the first day of school to show how much the girls have grown in one year.
Here's the Norman Rockwell version of this Annie Leibovitz moment:
Lena, stand there for a minute. Smile! Perfect! Now, how about over here. Ok, and one with your sister. Wonderful! Let's get in the car and head to school.
And, my reality:
Lena, stand next to the door. No, not in the rocks. Over there. Left, left. Ok. Stop jumping. Put your arms down. Smile. Don't make that face - it's not a smile. NO, it is not cute. You look weird. Why are you doing that with your head? Stand still for a minute! Please just smile nicely. No, not like that. Smile. Seriously! What is that? This is the picture you want for your last day of school??? Fine. Go stand over there with your sister. Emmeline, stop kicking the rocks and stand next to your sister. Stop running away. Please guys! Just one picture. Damn. Got the back of Emmeline's head. Stupid iPhone. Perfect stand there...smile! No Emmeline! Just. Stay. Still. Sigh. Ok, forget it. Just get in the car. We're late for school now.
After we drop Lena off, we run a few errands and pick out some flowers for the special girl. We head back for the graduation program. All the parents have dressed up for the occasion. It was cute to see the mommies dressed up instead of in work out clothes or rockin' the "fresh out of bed" look that I usually don.
The 18 graduates parade in and serenade us with many songs and demonstrations of all they have learned. My little chanteuse (who has been known to get reprimanded for singing at inappropriate times) is NOT singing along with the rest of them. She is swinging her arms around and looking at shiny objects and dreaming of the Queen's Jubilee. I want to yell at her and tell her to pay attention and pretend for a few minutes like you can follow directions!!! I somehow manage to bite my tongue. She is ignoring my mommy death looks.
The performance ends and diplomas are handed out. Hugs, tears and pictures abound. It is time for the last day of school picnic. This will be the second time that there is a picnic of this magnitude at the school. It's wonderful, in theory; all the families of the students coming together to bond over peanut butter and jelly. However, the giant amoeba of children attacking the tiny play structures throws my mom-induced-panic into hyper drive. It's hard to discern my children amongst the thrall of arms, legs, crying and dirt. I want to be that relaxed person that just knows the kids will be alright. I want to chat with the fantastic group of mommies that I have met through this year - but instead have to be the crazy lady on the periphery scanning the melee in case I have to intervene. I commandeer my friends beautiful 5 week old baby to calm my nerves.
It's time for the picnic craziness to end. Play dates have been arranged. Numbers exchanged. The conclusion of an era had arrived and not a moment too soon. Now it's time for Lena to get a job. She has been freeloading for five years now. When I told her it was time for her to start paying rent, she informed me she was getting a job as a lifeguard. Which is wonderful! If only she knew how to swim....but let's not let that minuscule detail get in the way of gainful employment.