Last Day as A Seattle Schools Parent

You honestly think, that first day of kindergarten with your oldest child, that you'll never see the end. Those 13 years stretch far, far out in front of you. There's school and friends and sports and activites and PTA and family and it just seems like a hazy daze of life. And that's just for one child.

Then one day (actually one night), your youngest child puts on a gown and a mortar cap and sits with his classmates and walks across the stage and they hand him a diploma and they tell you he's all done. What?!? Where was I when this time passed?

Well, it does. And then you get charged with creating a slide show for a graduation party for him and his friends. You sort through photos and see ones you forgot and ones you love to look at and see those chubby baby legs and then the hilarious middle school haircuts (it's always middle school) and the first signs of stubble. You smile while your eyes well up.

You remember teachers and principals and how it is you remember kids' names but not moms' names. Most of all you remember the fellowship you received from working with other parents at your children's schools. All those wonderful men but mostly women who put in the time to make things better. To make school days happy days.

You look at class group photos and look at those bright, shining faces and wish, truly wish, the best for each and every child.

You watch as your son and his friends eat you out of house and home. You wonder why it is they all want to be at your house and then you remember you have Tivo, cable, the World Cup is on and you made nachos.

So many times this year I thought, "A year from now my house will be just be me and my husband." So quiet and so lonely. So if it's loud and noisy now, who cares?

But this is what you work for. So that your child has a good basic education and makes his way to college. We raise them to set them free someday. That's the way of the world.

It just all went by so fast, that's all.

Good luck Nick and all the graduates of the class of 2010.


seattle said…
Well maybe now you'll find some extra time and run for school board! The district needs you now more than ever.

Best to your son and the entire class of 2010!
StepJ said…
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StepJ said…
Thank you Melissa.

I am feeling this way today about Kindergarten -- I'm happy to see them growing older yet also sad that their Kindergarten year will be completed on Tuesday.

I can't imagine.

I hope I will be able to weather the coming years with your grace.

Congratulations to you, your family, and Nick.
zb said…
I've spent the last week making slide shows for both a kindergartner and a graduating senior (they aren't both mine). Indeed a time of sentiment and nostalgia. I'm watching that senior grow from a little boy on his first day of school to the man he is today, and imagining the kindergartner doing the same. It seems nearly impossible, and, yet it's ordinary.

Here's to a bright future to all those shiny eyed children.
溫淑芬 said…
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seattle citizen said…
Congratulations, Melissa! And thank you for extending your attention to your children's education to the education of all children in the city.
ttln said…
As a parent of a kindergardener who came home with a top front tooth missing yesterday, the markof a first grader, I think back to the first day of school this year when it took two IAs to get her off of my leg to which she tearfully clung in terror and feel the same mix of pride and nostalgia. I also am reminded that one sweet child in kindergarden did not quite make it to the end of her first year. My heart is broken and I weep for her mother who does not get to experience the same bittersweetness of our moment. She and her familyare in our thoughts.
dj said…
Congrats to your son and to your family.
WenD said…
Best wishes to your son and his class.
reader said…
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reader said…
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reader said…
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reader said…
Gee. Some readers are real ingrates! --Different reader.
ArchStanton said…
Thanks for clearing that up, reader. It seemed pretty off-the-wall to be coming from you.
Josh Hayes said…
Melissa, thanks for the lovely post. I feel like the coyote in one of those road-runner cartoons, realizing he's about to run over the cliff and scrabbling to back up. But the whole reason we DO this thing is to watch our kids move forward, despite the fact that we too, darnit, have to move forward with them.

What happened to those chubby, darling, giggling little things? They get all gangly, and surly, and incommunicative. And we love them all the same. Here's to another year, and another, and another, the planet revolving and orbiting around the sun, and life moving inexorably onward. I'm happy to be on this revolving planet with all of you.
Unknown said…
Thanks for the post, Melissa. Loved reading it and if you want to hear loud, noisy kids you are free to come over to my house:-)
Congratulations to Nick!
Anonymous said…
Help! Your son sounds as though he is eligible for a "SSLICK " grant; we raised money to be held for students who attended Seattle Public Schools from Kindergarten through their graduation; now we find the District did not track those students, as they pledged they would. How best do you think we can find the eligible students? The fund has some $60,000...but we need to identify the graduates,both for 2009 and 2010. Please contact me at 206-441-6644 if you have any ideas or know any student who qualifies.

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