Wednesday marked the end of Kitty’s time in Kindergarten, and the end of Elma’s very first term. All the parents were invited in for the last circle time of the year and oh there wasn’t a dry eye in the back of the room. Even John, stoic Yorkshireman to the last, admitted to needing his coping mechanisms as we listened to their lovely teacher tell the story of the children climbing the tree in their garden, a branch for each of the years that the Transition class have been in Kindergarten, until finally they reached the third branch and could see over the hedge into a new garden and all of the different paths that wound their way through it that they will discover as they head off to Class 1 and the beginning of the official Lower School. It was so beautiful and so very personal to the children making the big remove; even writing about it makes me think that someone must have been cutting onions in the vicinity.
In September she started into a relatively established group of friends, wearing her heart on her sleeve and clutching every ounce of courage she could find, and what a difference the year has made. She seemed so grown up when I took that photo of her in September, and now my first reaction was to think how little she looks!
She’s grown in height (that happens every other week), but also in confidence, and she’s made the best of friends in her new peer group. She’s developing the silliest sense of humour, with endless variations of why did the cow cross the road, and the little girl who didn’t sing in the Christmas circle time because she didn’t want anyone to look at her (the six year old me would sympathise), sings out happily in every circle time. This year took a little girl nervous of school after becoming burnt out and disengaged in her previous year and put back some of the joy.
The fact is that Kitty loves school, and that’s a sentence that for a while I thought I’d never get to write. If there were more days in the week she would go for all of them, and still be bouncing around on a Monday morning wanting to be the first through the door.
This year she made a mallet from a log, she stitched up a very sweet felt needlecase, and she finally finished her weaving on the penultimate day of term. It’s gorgeous, and when we move into the new house I’m determined to find a spot on the wall for it somewhere.
And as for Miss Elma, she seemed to go from toddler to school girl overnight.
Elma started the year in nursery, running in with barely a backwards glance, and by the time she moved up to Kindergarten at the beginning of this term she was ready to tunnel her way in over a weekend. She’s a very self contained contented little girl for the most part and if she ever had any regret it was that she didn’t get to go for all five mornings.
This term she’s done some drawing, painted a crown, made very slow progress on her pompom, and learnt so many songs and finger rhymes and blessings that she and Kitty sing together. As far as I can work out they didn’t spend that much time in class playing together, but they, and the other two sibling sets, gravitated towards each other at meal times, and would often end up sitting next to each other. They certainly enjoyed having that time together and I’m glad they had the opportunity to share it.
In mainstream counting she would start Reception in September but at our school she’ll stay in Kindergarten for another couple of years, one of which she’ll share with Pip, and then it will be our time to hold back the happy tears all over again at her final circle time. By the time Pip leaves Kindergarten I give fair warning that I’ll be a blubbering wreck – we have at least three years before then though.
All of which means that once we’d dried our eyes, the girls had hugged all of their classmates and their teachers, and we’d gone back to rescue Elma’s jumper from her peg before the doors were locked, it’s the summer holidays; and that’s a whole new adventure waiting to happen.