Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Proud Mama!

I can't imagine a prouder moment over and beyond what I experienced today as a mother, this is definitely a day to remember, John and Michael's graduation from Prepa! Although some of my family back home think they've been in the Kinder program forever (and you know who you are :) - today they completed the three year journey through Pre-kinder, Kinder and Prepa and the Friends school survived to tell about it!!! It was indeed bitter-sweet! As I sat through the 40-minute ceremony, I experienced moments of uncertainty and doubt as to whether we were making the right decision for our family...leaving this very special community in less than two weeks. The uniqueness of the ceremony was so fitting, given the uniqueness and magic of the school. As I helped prepare the multi-purpose room yesterday for the event, along with other school community members, I took special notice of how the school rallied to support us. High-school teachers and kids hurried in to clear out and carry out heavy furniture, sets of drums, keyboards and cabinets full with art supplies (hence the term, "multi-purpose" room)! Next, in bounced a handful of fourteen year old girls who volunteered to gather hydrangas from the garden to brighten up the tables, while I helped to attach the life size self portraits of each of the twenty or so students in the Kinder program onto the windows that flanked the back of the room. Whille I worked along side another parent and the Kinder teachers, a mom of one of the graduates put the finishing touches on the diplomas that each of the 8 graduating Prepa students would receive In keeping with tradition, the diplomas were transformed into a vibrant wall hanging..a real keepsake to treasure for years to come. In one of my many trips to San Jose over the last few months, I found the perfect fabric as the border and some cute 'bobbles' to finish off each work of art. Each graduate made their own, individual drawing which, along with the diploma itself and teacher/director's signatures, were ironed onto the fabric by a local printer and then finally sewed by the women at "Casem", the woman's coop at the bottom of our driveway. One parent collected bamboo sticks to thread through the top and bottom and there you have it, a very creative and brightly colored certificate.
Each graduate also received a T-shirt with artwork from their classmates, so special and, of course, made with a lot of love! A few songs, a poem and lots of hugs for all! Michael, forever putting a new spin on things! You go kid!
Another sweet moment shared when Juanita's class of 1st and 2nd graders took each Prepa student by the hand and escorted them to the 1st/2nd grade classroom...sort of a 'right of passage' from Prepa (and the guiding hands of Melody, Ellieth and Luz) to first grade and the gentleness of Juanita! As we entered Juanita's classroom, all the kids were perched around a table Juanita had adorned with several items (sort of a memory game), and invited the kids to guess which item had been removed from the table...a nice interactive game to make the kids feel comfortable. At the conclusion of their time with Juanita, each Prepa student received a card given by those kids that had graduated Prepa the previous year! Another way to involve all the students and provide a sense of warmth, comfort and familiararity! As I looked around at the students in the classroom, the trees outside the windows, the blue sky and birds chirping, I was a little sad knowing that the boys would not be continuing at MFS and would be saying goodbye to friends, teachers and classmates, who over the last three years have formed into very true and pure relationships. I remember thinking to myself "Okay, Sally, focus, focus, focus, onward and northward as planned"!
The morning concluded with a snack provided by the parents, cake, empanadas, popcorn, fruit! I brought vegetables, and can tell you that those veggies were not the hit of the party, so I hauled them back home and they made a great stir-fry for dinner! Here's trouble!
Sweet video of the boys receiving their diplomas from John, the Director! YOU DID IT GUYS! So as I look to the future, I again focus on the kids and their school experience and am comforted to know that they received a fabulous start here in the Kinder program at MFS! A sincere THANK YOU goes out to Melody, Elieth and Luz Marina, who are not only awesome teachers, but valued friends! Kudos to you three! We also thank Tricia, their music teacher, who volunteers so much of her time and love of music with these beautiful children. Peace, Signed: S

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