Oh, Woe Is Me! My son is a middle schooler now - and has officially moved on from the halls of elementary school.
Thursday was the last day of school for the kiddos - and they were both happy about that fact, despite the fact that Mom was struggling in lieu of Brayden's 10am "promotion ceremony". I wasn't sure I'd make it through without tears - and for the record, I didn't.
We did start the morning off right, though - with Dutch Babies, Orange Julius Knock-offs, and even the ride to school had the kids watching the "Summer Vacation" song on High School Musical 2. (I drove around the block a bit so we could catch it all...)
That must have been Brayden's inspiration as he sang one of the intro numbers for their promotion ceremony. During both songs, he chose the furthest back riser. Apparently, Brayden still doesn't have an accurate self-awareness of his height, cuz, kiddo, you get lost back there with all of the big kids.
At least, when Brayden participated in reading a special poem to the audience, he wasn't on the risers and could be seen clearly.
The principal read every 5th grade student's name, and each student got to walk across the stage - be greeted by each of the teachers, and recieve their "Promotion Certificate" from their personal teacher. Brayden was lucky because he actually had Mr. Gulka (shown here patting his back) as his 3rd grade teacher, and - so he had plenty of fans on stage.
I also felt like our principal, Mr. Nelson, gave a special pause and chuckle upon saying Brayden's name - his smile sure seems to indicate it. With as much as I loved Mrs. Jakious this year, I have probably failed to emphasize just how much I cherish our principal. He makes such an effort with the kids - connecting to them - he's around always, everywhere you turn you see him. These qualities are even more extraordinary when you consider just how completely opposite the principal was that we had the first three years of Brayden's time at Gilham. Thank God he's not leaving along with Mrs. Jakious.....I look forward to him being around well through the time Mikayla walks the stage for this ceremony.
As they walked past Mr. Nelson, the kids got to pick out a pair of these sunglasses to wear when they returned to their seats. Most of them chose to wear them for their final singing performance. Brayden really got into this song, and losing all inhibitions, decided to dramatize it.
Following the ceremony, the kids returned to their classrooms and were allowed to check out and leave early for the day. It led to kind of a chaos of good-byes and camera flashes. We did our part to preserve the memories as well...
If my eyes look extra sparkly here, it would be due to all the extra lubrication of the tears - John was quite surprised I was "losing it". I remember crying uncontrollably in the weeks after Brayden was born (post-partum!) - and when asking me one time why I was crying, I responded to John, "Because he's 11 days old, and I'll never have those 11 days back!". Now, he's 11 years old - and those years are all behind us too......along with his elementary days. Ok, I'm getting all worked up all over again......whew!
Brayden, with one of his favorite classmates and buddies, Jack.....
So, Brayden had anticipated having a hard time saying good-bye to Mrs. Jakious, but I think all the excitement of the day kept the sadness at bay. (Not to mention, that she gave them her email, so he feels like he can always keep in touch). However, I was obviously struggling, and had to stand in line to get my hug before leaving.
John had fun taking this shot - and they both nailed it....Bye-bye elementary school - Brayden's out!!
And, the final "I'm too cool for this elementary school" pose...