Our morning drop off was pretty uneventful except for Duke being very excited for his last day. He has been counting down on the calendar to it as well as his upcoming first day at Briarwood on the 15th. I was a bit teary on the drive out of the parking lot but in the same minute thankful we will be back to one location to stop each day. And let me pause to say I am not prone to being a highly emotionally person outwardly. More typical is for me to keep my feelings pretty close to my chest and make sure I'm keeping this "under control". Well, pickup was an entirely different matter.
As I typed our security code into the door keypad I remember thinking, "this is the last time I'll do this" and walking down the hall it was, "take note of all you see so you can remember this someday" running through my mind. Then I walked into Duke's classroom and he came running up with a big posterboard his teachers and classmates had made to wish him goodbye followed by a book of drawings from his classmates to Duke wishing him well. That's when the first drops fell. Then Ms. Morgan and Ms. Missy handed me this...painted by Ms. Missy and given to us by all our teachers over the years to hang in the boys room...
And that pretty much sealed it. Free flowing water down my face from that point forward.
We started at Odyssey in December 2006. I was the newest of new mothers, with no extended family close and could not have made it without my daily sounding board of "Aunt" Kay Bodin who's feeding and sleeping advice was invaluable and who was as shocked as I was at the news we would have another Odyssey student enrolled so soon. I'll be reminded of watching Jack on the video feed in Infant 2, playing by himself across the room from the other babies whenever he recedes to his room at home from the chaos of a Saturday for some quiet play. And I will always have the photo of him laying on the changing table in the Infant 4 the day Duke was born because of our sweet teachers Kelly, Ashley and Michelle who knew it would remind me of how little he was when he became a brother.
My first connection in the mornings has been Cindy, who I grew to love to tease when occasionally she would need to call me and notify me of one of the kids boo-boos with an answer of my cell phone "If there isn't a bone or an ambulance involved, I'm good..." Of course, there were the calls that prompted a pickup, like the day Jack took a tumble on the playground and knocked his two front teeth pretty hard, resulting in some sleepless nights for Mommy. And who I will always remember gave me just a bit of panic when I hadn't even left the building and heard over the intercom in PreK-B, "Send Sarah to T1 now!" and there was Duke with a visibly shaken teacher, calmly sitting on the changing table after a "head meet corner of table" incident that resulted in this, but none worse the wear.
Or the epic worry created by some of my best parent friends during our transition from T4 to K3A when we realized the room had no changing table and at the ripe young age of 2 1/2 we would all be facing our first rounds of DOOM-DOOM-DOOM! Potty Training - aaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh! (And a not so much thank you to those 2nd time parents that sat quietly by at the time probably laughing under your breath at our naivety.)
And as they have grown and "daycare" moved more into "preschool" we had some good laughs and even better learning.
There are so many moments in the archives of this blog that capture our days at this wonderful school where we've made even more wonderful friends who have become part of our Birmingham family.
So as we move forward to this next chapter, I know I can always spend time looking at the past with a smile and a warmth of heart that this first journey ended with success.
Thank you to all of you who made it better than we ever could have imagined.