Sunday, August 27, 2017

The Last Year Of Elementary School

"Your last year of elementary school," I said as I parked the car for back-to-school night. "Can you believe it?"

Natalie scowled. "Are you crying?" She unbuckled her belt and leaned forward. I felt her breath against my cheek.

"No," I answered, blinking back tears. Not technically. But. It's her last year of elementary school. That's a big deal. I mean, wasn't she JUST heading off to preschool and skipping beside me as I held her hand?





And now?

Now.



She used to be into Disney princesses. Yo Gabba Gabba. Now she talks to me about PopSockets, lip gloss, and says things to me like, "Swish, swish, bish" and I don't know whether to punish her, or realize she's quoting a song. She doesn't smile as much in pictures, because she thinks it's cooler to have a model pout.

It's not a lie when you're told it goes by quickly. At first you don't believe it when they're tiny because the hours seem to slide by at a snail's pace. There's only so many episodes of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse you can take. So many times you can feign excitement when they bring you a plastic piece of food. "You made this for me? Oh yum, yum, YUM!"



But suddenly, when you aren't paying full attention, things change. It's no longer silly cartoons on the TV, it's an odd Disney Channel program where the kids seem like brats, and there's a laugh track, and your kid is telling you about the newest YouTube star who has their own show.

You realize it's their last year of elementary school.

"Come on," Natalie urged, sounding like the adult as she grabbed the bags of school supplies to turn in.

I took a deep breath. There was no turning back. This was happening.

We walked down the halls and I thought, "How many more times will we do this?" We walked into her new class and I noticed the thick schoolbooks. Gone where the skinny ones with cartoons characters on the front.

Gone were the children's name written in sharpie on crayons or other shapes and stuck on the desks.



Natalie's teacher said they could write their names on a Post It and pick where they wanted to sit.

"Sweet," Natalie said, grabbing a Post It. She wrote her name and then peered at all the desks. She had her pick: only a few other kids had arrived. She found a desk, and I asked for a photo, the same kind of photo I've taken every year.

Normally Natalie would give in, but this time?


"We do this every year. It's getting embarrassing."

But eventually she caved when she saw other kids taking pictures with their parents.


"But you need to take it down a notch. I know I'm your last baby, but chill."


I won't chill because this is her last year of elementary school.


So now whenever I walk down the halls, I might take it in a bit more.



Because who knows?

It might be my last time.





52 comments:

  1. Awww - they do grow up awfully fast! I don't have kids, but I'm so sad that I'm missing out on my nephews milestones cos it's going by way too fast. :(

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  2. Congrats on the beginning of the last year of elementary school!

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  3. They grow up so fast! It seems like yesterday I was leaving my oldest daughter at Kindergarten for the very first time and crying all the way home. All of my kids are grown and graduated from college and sometimes I wonder where the time has gone. I love seeing the photos of your beautiful daughter!

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  4. It's such a conflicting year, isn't it? I couldn't wait for my daughter to get older, to see how she'd progress in school, but that last year I realized I lost my precious baby and gained a big girl.

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  5. She is totally adorable! They do grow up fast and I often think back, to when my son was just in elementary and pre-school! My, you can sure see the changes in your little girl!

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  6. My "baby" is in fifth grade, too. I just made arrangements with someone to take her old plastic play kitchen off our hands. It's been a long time since she cooked something for me with it. Sniff.

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  7. I am totally with you! I am having a hard time realizing that we can I was getting older and I cannot handle it. I will definitely take a picture of them every year and I don't care how much it embarrasses him. You keep up the good work girl!

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  8. Amazing how fast the years go by. My daughter has been married for 7 years now. Seems like she just graduated from high school.

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  9. awesome and adorable photos i love this post..

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  10. They grow up so fast. I just received senior pics in the mail for my son and tears fell as it was only yesterday I was kissing him on his first day of preschool and now, here we are Senior year. OMG! Time just flew by so fast.

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  11. They sure grow up fast! Mine is entering grade 3 this year and I felt it was only yesterday I walked with him to pre-k. Good luck to Nathalie of her last year of elementary.

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  12. I miss the elementary school years. Oldest is now a freshman in college, youngest is a junior in high school. I don't understand where all the time went. Just like that, you blink, and they are almost gone.

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  13. That is so cute. My wife is still the same way with each life event. Enjoy it!

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  14. Ahhh...life passes just too quickly! As an empty-nester with two 20-something daughters, I lovingly remember the end of the elementary school years, graduation from middle school and high school. And then helping them move into university dorms. It all culminates with college graduation. It's almost like one big beautiful blur whizzing by...

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  15. Awww she's so grown from the first pic of elementary to the last!
    Next thing you know, it's university!
    You're doing a great job :) keep at it.
    Luciana commenting for (Ajulydreamer)

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  16. Ok reading this gave me the chills. I know about time flying by faster than we'd like. My spouse and I were just having a very sentimental conversation about this last weekend. Oh well. Nothing we can do but cherish the moments we do have, I guess.

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  17. I am past that stage and I'm telling you, it is bittersweet. The moment you realize they are no longer the babies you had in your arms in what was like only a few weeks ago. Just be happy they are healthy, happy and raving to go back to school.

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  18. So sweet. It really does go so fast. We just have to take in all the moment and keep these memories close!

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  19. Aww.. That's so beautiful. I can totally relate to the juggling emotions you would be having. Kids actually grow up too fast and then have their own decisions set in.

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  20. My baby starts sixth grade next week. My oldest is a junior. It seems like yesterday she was starting kindergarten.

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  21. It's my youngest's last year of elementary school, too. I can't believe my oldest is driving. Where does the time go?

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  22. Awww this is so sweet. The scene is right out of the movie. She does look a little embarrassed but still happy that you are doting over her.

    ❥ tanvii.com

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  23. They totally grow so fast. My youngest just started his junior year of college and I can't believe it. Wasn't he just starting preschool?

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  24. The time really does fly by. I can not believe my Son is leaving for his first year of college this year.

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  25. Aww this is so sweet. I'm learning just how quickly time flies after graduating college and it's so crazy. Such a bittersweet moment for you as a parent! Enjoy every minute.

    xo, Taylor || The Millennial Sprinkle (thesprinkle.tayloramead.com)

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  26. Kids grow up so fast. This is such a sweet post. My two younger siblings grew up too fast too. Thanks for sharing.

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  27. It's so hard to go through those "lasts." I totally get what you're saying! I know you have a few years, but high school goes faster than any other period of schooling so be ready!

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  28. Kids sure do grow up quickly don't they. If any new parent asks I tell them don't blink or one day you'll be looking at an adult.

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  29. How fast time flies and the kids grow up. Suddenly the little girl starts behaving like a grown up, can understand that phase so well. :)

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  30. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  31. They grow up so fast. I wish her the best in her last year of elementary school. =D

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  32. This was an emotional time for me as well. It is a milestone they are really growing up!

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  33. I sensed all your feelings as I was reading this. Even as I look back on my childhood I think wow! That went really fast. I can't imagine what that experience is like for a parent.

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  34. She is totally adorable, hey grow up so fast. I wish her the best in her last year of elementary school.

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  35. My daughter just started PreK! I know it is going to go by so fast!

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  36. I remember those special moments. Enjoy every moment time goes by so quickly !! Lovely pictures.

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  37. I am sorry I was laughing at the swish swish bish comment lol! I dont know what I would do if I heard a child said that these songs these days!

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  38. fun/entertaining post to read! I love that you take the same photo so you can see them changing throughout the school years. My kids elementary school has a lower campus K-3rd grade and a upper campus 4-8th grade. Next year my son will be going to the upper campus, my goodness! it does go by fast!

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  39. The worst part is they only grow up faster! She has been changing into a wonderful person though.

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  40. I love how cute your relationship with your daughter is. It's so adorable that she's aware of the tradition you do every start of the year. What a fun way to document the memories and track her progress <3

    Steph C. | her ink heart | www.herinkheart.com

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  41. I'm right there with ya!! My oldest daughter started 5th Grade and she's already counting down to 6th. I'm like whoa there - hold on - let's just slow things down a bit here!! I'm. So. Not. Ready!

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  42. My son definitely told me to chill this year, too. It was my first time shipping a kid off to school, and I hope I won't be so teary eyed for first grade next year!

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  43. What a blessing!! to have all these moments to enjoy with your beautiful daughter. Thank you for sharing.

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  44. My son will be entering the third grade this year. I think once he leaves this elementary I will be so sad but excited at the same time

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  45. What a sweet post! Time flies too fast. What a really sweet bunch of photos too! My girl is in grade eighty this year so I know how you feel!

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  46. Time flies that's for sure. My daughter just took her first steps the other day and I still can't believe it!

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  47. Aww they sure do grow up fast! My son just started daycare and it was hard to hold back the tears!! Thanks for sharing!

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  48. Aw.. don't take it down a notch!! Don't! They really grow up amazingly fast. Thank you for sharing this! I've been feeling emotional about third grade all day. They treat it like a big kid grade in our school. So many changes.

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  49. They grow up so fast. Soon enough my little one will be in pre-k.

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  50. "But you need to take it down a notch. I know I'm your last baby, but chill." This made me laugh out loud. I'm sure all kinds of emotions were at play. You seemed to handle it well. Enjoy every moment.

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  51. Indeed time flies so fast. You wouldn't notice the year but you will see it to her changes. From a little cutie baby to a beautiful young lady. Enjoy the most of your time, soon she will be a teenager. -ANOSA

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  52. I get so emotional at the start of every new school year! My eldest has only got 3 years left at school, yet I still see her as a teeny tiny 2 year old most days :)

    Louise x

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