I am all aglow from the events of the last week.
And not just because of the heat wave which engulfs us and is sending the kids home early today (the temperature in the classrooms is up over 100F, definitely no learning going on.)
No, I'm a very proud mom after a weekend of the school play, a horse show, and the sixth-grade award ceremony.
And best yet, all the grandparents and their uncle Goo were here to celebrate all of these with us.
The play, oh the play. The kids--all the kids--were marvelous in Madagascar Jr., a musical retelling of the popular animated movie. Bud played "Rico," the kung-fu fighting, sushi-loving penguin. I loved watching him perform, from his slides onto the middle of the stage, his quick kung-fu moves, to his singing "Sea Shanty." I really liked how he waddled and moved his head around like a real penguin. For me, he just lit up the stage.
Sis was a police officer, appearing mostly in the first few scenes and then the end, looking intimidating in her navy blue (real) police officer shirt and hat. She does stern well and was believable with that walkie-talkie. But oh, we had a shock to see her in eyeliner and blush. She became a teenager right in front of us. Kinda surprising. But it all totally worked in the part. And she didn't have to dance (which she does not like to do on stage.)
I was the snack coordinator again, meaning I oversaw the procurement and distribution of water and snacks to the cast during all three shows. It's a bit of organizational work, but not much compared to people in charge of costumes, props, choreography, etc. And we get to go backstage, which other parents not working do not. I saw the show twice, checking the cafeteria before and after, and during intermission, and then worked the cafeteria snacks on Saturday. It was pretty hot the last two performances, but we had enough water and watermelon, which is their favorite. Mama, Gommie, and Pop also helped us out--fetching coolers and ice, helping bring in snacks.
After the show on Friday, we all headed to a local diner with much of the cast, loudly celebrating while wolfing down dinner. Everyone was exhilarated and exhausted. Saturday night, it was me, Mama, Gommie and our Beloved Babysitter and her boyfriend. So special that they came! She brought the kiddos flowers and then we all went to a diner together afterwards. We love to see her and were interested to finally meet her chef boyfriend.
After Sunday's show, there was a cast party after the last performance. The kids signed each other's t-shirts and posters between a chicken dinner and cake. They also got the cast cards that audience members could leave for them. We all wrote cards for Sis and Bud, and I also wrote cards to all my Girl Scouts and a few of the other cast members. I just wanted them to know how much I really enjoyed the show and all their hard work. It was a nice little party, after an amazing weekend. And I couldn't be prouder.
Ride 'em, Horse Girl
In the midst of all that, Sis had a horse show on Saturday which we did not want to miss. Even tired, she loves to ride "her" horse, Murphy. So, Gommie, Pop, Mama, and I spent a hot day in the field watching those beautiful beasts and their composed riders. Sis got a first place for jumping (because she made her diagonals correctly) and three third places for Walk-Trot-Canter equitation and pleasure (her dear Murphy was being a bit stubborn.) I can't really tell what makes for a good ride; I just like watching. Gommie was especially interested in how the whole horse show worked--the different events, the different commands ("the class is closed," "riders reverse at the wall," posting vs. half-seat, pleasure vs equitation--I understand it all, just barely.) But we were all a bit relieved to get out of the heat after her events were over. Still, I love watching her ride. Almost as much as she loves horses!
Though, the kids did manage to go swimming with Gommie and Pop after eating some SmashBurgers! And then it was off to the next performance . . . .
And the Award Goes to . . . .
It was a very hot night in the school auditorium, where I had been since Thursday (for the final dress rehearsal, I chaperoned with Gommie), but we were all happy to gather in our hot-weather finest for the celebration of the kids leaving elementary school. I guess you could call it graduation or commencement, but they don't. Sis wore her dress pants and white gauzy shirt, Bud was in a light blue Oxford--basic dress up clothes for them both (like for chorus or orchestra.) We took a lot of pictures, in many combinations, getting a few great ones with grandparents and many of their school friends. We didn't quite know what to expect from the ceremony, didn't really know what awards there were. It started with a basic presentation of certificates for their involvement in the play, chorus, art, orchestra, etc., all of which were just passed out in an envelope. We did know about the Presidential Awards, which the kids hoped to earn--the Gold award was for a 3.5 GPA and over 60 on various STAR tests. I thought they qualified, but we didn't know until they were both called--the second set of twins to earn the Presidential Gold Award that night (the other set, in their class, also has two moms!) They just beamed with pride and I was sniffly. (I laughed that we should switch their last names so they could be called earlier in the round up!) Then the Character Education Awards. Someone had told Sis they thought she should get one--and she did! Wow! And then Bud won a prestigious Citizenship Award named after a local detective, that came with $100 (all the kids oohed and aahed)! (He got it with another young lady, one of our friends and a former Girl Scout.) Wow again! So proud of them--academics and character!!! Proud of all of our kids, especially their gifted-and-talented classmates and my Girl Scouts (current and former.) It really was fun to celebrate them. Which we did with more cake in the cafeteria, more pictures all over, and then a trip to the local ice cream shop with a bunch of their classmates. I got a hot fudge sundae because I was proud of Mama and me, too. Ma had even said we were good parents, which was a wonderful first. My folks say it a lot, but it means so much each time; I was really glad that my dad made the trip, which was a last-minute decision. And I'm glad they were all able to be with us, surrounding the kiddos with love and support during this exciting time.
And so now, they'll be home early because of the heat. Gommie and Pop are off to who-knows-where, but we'll see them later. The kids are essentially done with class--tomorrow is their 6th-grade picnic and then they have two half-days (hope the heat dismissal doesn't change that.) Then they really are done! Middle Schoolers!
It's all bittersweet. I love their teachers and the supportive environment of the school. They've had good times here and grown and learned so much. I have, too. But just as we moved from home to preschool, preschool to half-day kindergarten, half-day to full day, the small elementary school to the upper grades at the larger elementary school, we'll all be okay moving to middle school. And I think, after a bit, we'll all be good, thanks to the love and support of family and community.