My heart skips a beat just typing out the title to this post...
So Anna had her big end of the year class performance last night - culminating in her "Moving On" ceremony as she graduates and ends her pre-school experience, taking one more step towards kindergarten and 'big kid' school.
It was a lovely performance - her pre-school class put on a wonderful rendition of "The Three Little Pigs." Anna was cast as "Mama Pig" and looked so freaking adorable in her mommy-pig hat, apron, and dress.
I was so proud of her as she correctly and succinctly and loudly recited her lines.
Following the play, the director of the Children's Center and one of the head board members got up to speak to us parents and family members. They spoke of the past five years, and how some of these kids have been at the Center since they were babies. How they've accomplished so much in those five years - from crawling, to walking, to talking, to learning to share, to learning their letters and numbers, to reading - basically evolving in to the persons they are today. And how their experience at the Center has prepared them to take the next step in their education and personal growth.
And I cried.
Sometimes I feel like the worst mother on the planet - when I'm tired and frustrated and the kids are whining or bickering or complaining - and I can't wait for them to go to bed so I can have some peace.
And then I look at them now - at Anna as she "moves on" towards elementary school - and I feel like I'm missing so much.
And I'm reminded again of that old adage - the days are long - but the years are short.
I was asked by the lead teacher in Anna's room to plan and coordinate the reception following the play/graduation ceremony, which I happily agreed to - hey, any chance to throw a party, right?
It was a lovely reception - my only regret is that I didn't have the camera to take pictures of how it all turned out before the kids came in and attacked the yummy treats (all with a green and orange colored theme) and the cake.
And the cake.
Vicki with Vintage Bakery prepared a lovely two layer cake - with "Congratulations K4A" piped on it along with several art and school related things (artist palette and brush, ruler, scissors, crayons.)
When I went to the bakery to pick it up yesterday afternoon, an older couple were there picking up a really pretty two tiered cake with lots of pink roses. It also had what looked like a white chocolate ladder going up the side of the cake, connecting the two tiers. Being the non-shy person I am, I commented to the woman that it was a beautiful cake, and asked what the ladder was for.
She replied (with a tear in her eye) that her daughter was graduating from medical school. She said that every time her daughter called her as a frustrated or scared or worried student, she would remind her that every step was one more rung in the ladder towards her goal of being a doctor.
It was a beautiful and personal touch for such a special occasion.
The woman was clearly beaming with pride.
At that moment I had a 'fast-forward' to my life in 20 or so years. That could be me - picking up a cake for Anna's future graduation.
The woman looked over at my cake and said 'oh, that's a pretty cake too.' I said 'yes, it's my daughter's graduation as well today - her pre-school graduation.'
The woman smiled at me, the tear running down her cheek, and said 'it goes too quickly. Savor each moment you have.'
And that is the mantra I'm trying to adopt - before 2023 is here - and my little pre-schooler exists only in photographs.
So back to the story of last night - after all of the reception festivities and subsequent cleaning up - we took the kids to the Chic-fil-a near our house. Kids eat free on Thursday nights (woo hoo) and they have face painting and arts and crafts.
We ran into the Comer girls and their mama - which was lovely - our kids got to play some more and I got to have some mama-chat.
And when it was all said and done, we finally returned home to give Anna her graduation cerce - a copy of this book:
and a spiffy new coloring book - that is geared more for artistic drawing than simple coloring.
And I cried.