The last day of school at Maya's preschool is always "Splash Day!" I was so grateful this year. The day is so fun for the kids. They run around in sprinklers and play in wading pools. This year, one sprinkler was aimed at the slide on the playground and the kids had a great time sliding really fast down the wet slide. The teacher set up tubs with babies for kids to wash them, had shaving cream so the students could paint the windows and set up a car wash near a line of three Little Tyke cars. Maya and her friends dug up the mulch and built a river. Then, they chased Tommy Cat, a boy in her class who likes to pretend he is a kitty, just like most of the class.
The school had an end-of-the-year celebration for the whole school and parents last week. The teachers said goodbye and handed out books they made for each student. The books had a page for every month the kids had been in school, along with a photo and an example of their artwork. These books are treasures.
The night before Maya's last day, a friend's facebook status said this: "If nothing ever changed, there'd be no butterflies." I decided that would have to be my motto for the day, if I was going to get by with no tears. I dropped Maya off at school, watched her play for a bit in the water, and then headed to work. That was as far as I got without tears, but at least I didn't let Maya see me cry.
After school, I waited eagerly for Maya and her classmates to step off the elevator. I told myself to be strong, and I was. I expected to see a big smile on Maya's face, but instead, she bit her lip, walked over to me pretty slowly and then started crying. I just hugged her. After a bit, she said "I just don't want to leave this school." I took several deep breaths, tried to keep my composure and helped dry her tears. When we walked out of the school, she was beaming, excited about a giant playdate we had planned. My eyes were red with tears. Oh, I'm going to miss that place!