As a parent, we are able to watch our children evolve over time. As an educator, this gradual growth is sometimes recorded at the beginning of the school year and assessed again toward the end of the school year. Today my husband and I attended our youngest daughters 4th-grade graduation ceremony. Last week I touched on “friendship” aspect of this upcoming graduation. While we sat together and listened to the children sing their song ‘that’s what friends are for”, I couldn’t help but think back on how much our family has ensured in the last year.
We had so many changes. Yet our little nine-year-old stood up on this stage and sang with her whole heart. She stood with great confidence. She sat patiently while each classmate anxiously waited for their “bookplate” to be read by a special teacher. All 37 students!
I pondered about how much impact we have had on her growth moving abroad and back again. How flexible she is adjusting to an International school in Geneva, Switzerland. Having to grasp the French language and actually sit in a class where the instructor will only speak French to her. And then another sudden change within nine months packing up and moving back to the same town that she just left. Of course, she was super excited to meet up with her classmates again. Some that she has been in school with since Junior Kindergarten. Today she was able to stand and sit on stage with her classmates that she has known since she was 4 years old. While my husband and I wiped away our tears, blessed that we have been able to set this solid foundation in her formative years, we look forward to the continued growth that we will see in Upper school. We look forward to how she will evolve into her teenage years. Embrace the change, turn the page and begin the next chapter. That is my best advice to others and myself today.
We will be eternally grateful to her kindergarten teacher who remembered how she skipped into the classroom over five years ago and confidently said, “Hi I am Aniela Soliel Marie.” Also, her kindergarten teacher remembers how her Daddy carried her on his shoulder on the days that she just wasn’t “quite sure”.
Today she smiled with excitement and embraced becoming a 5th grader. She can’t wait for upper school in late August of this year. We have truly begun to ground our feet her in Lake Forest, Illinois. All the moves, all the 18 hotels that we have lived over the past year (glad that is behind us now). All of our family has grown. Even as adults we evolve and we can continue to grow each day if we keep ourselves open to learning from others.
Love and kindness,