Help! I’m freaking out because my only (human) child has finished his Kindergarten year! The quote “the days are long but the years are short” definitely sums up how overwhelming it is to watch just how fast milestones fly by as a parent. I feel like I’m still adjusting to parenthood and I’m incredulous that Wild Boy recently turned 6.
I still can’t believe that the first day of Kindergarten occurred only a few weeks after our family moved from NY to the LA area. We were all in a new neighborhood, new house and knew no one. Jay and I wondered how a 5 year old would adjust not only to new surroundings but to so many transitions during the school day.
The new elementary school had only a half-day Kindergarten (after years of full-day daycare and preschool) so there was Kindercare (the 3.5 hours before afternoon Kinder class) and and for our family, Extended Daycare. Wild Boy surprised us both by settling into the new environments at home and at school with relative ease.
Wild Boy left pals in Brooklyn that he’s known since he was born but he made many new friends at school this year. It’s been fun to learn how 5 and 6 year olds play - from the X-Men and Super Hero playground games to discussions about the best minifigures from Lego (Batman and Ninjago) and “Oosem Guys” (aka Bok Choy Boys). Computer games became important too. I’m not sure that the Kindergarten teachers appreciated it when Wild Boy shared how to access CoolMathGames.com, on the class computer but his classmates sure did.
Kindergarten helped us all assimilate in the community through many school events – from the evening Outdoor Movie on the school playground, to the Halloween Parade, Jog-A-Thon, Art Fair, and the Fun Fair. Every human on earth claims to hate the Chicken Dance song but all the parents were smiling when 100 Kindergarteners came out in full regalia and did an organized dance for May Day! However, I think Wild Boy’s favorite school event might have been Parents Night Out when he got to be with his friends at school for dinner and a movie (his parents enjoyed it as well)!
For a kid who knew no one at the beginning of the school year, there was something special about having a joint 6th birthday celebration with 2 of Wild Boy’s female classmates for a “Shark Boy and Lava Girl” themed party. Watching Wild Boy happily run around for 2 hours at an indoor playground with over 30 other kids made the cross-country move seem like a big success.
When we moved to LA, I took the year off professionally to ensure an easy transition for Wild Boy. With more time available, I volunteered to be a weekly Parent Helper at school. I’ll admit that I definitely needed a strong drink every time I left the classroom (how do teachers do it?!) but I’ll never forget seeing how happy it made my child to have me help him and his fellow “Orca Whales” in his class every week. Not every parent gets the chance to be present in their child’s classroom activities and I’m glad I was able to during the very important school year of Kindergarten.
For all of the other parents of Kindergarteners that have a graduation or moving up ceremony to commemorate this monumental event, consider yourselves lucky. Our elementary school didn’t have one and I was devastated – hence, the reason for this lengthy post.
It’s hard to believe that the question, “What grade are you in?” now applies to my baby! I can’t even contemplate the many changes that the future holds in store but I can guarantee that Wild Boy won’t be begging his teachers for homework or have all of his baby teeth at this time next year.
If you have a child, did your child have a graduation ceremony at the end of Kindergarten? What did your family do when you graduated from Kindergarten?