Friday, June 14, 2013

Ceremonies, What I Know For Sure & #iPPP

On my last day of fifth grade, the last day of my elementary school before I went to big bad middle school, the bus driver let us listen to the radio.  She cranked up the volume and all us fifth graders in the back of the bus opened the windows and let the wind blow through our hair.  I remember it vividly.  Joan Jett & the Blackhearts I Love Rock N Roll was blasting through the bus speakers.  We were all snarling our lips and banging our heads screaming how we loved rock and roll and we were going to put another dime in the jukebox baby.  I felt like I grew up a little that day, like I was ready to move on.  I got off at my stop and walked home with that Joan Jett snarl on my face and attitude like a sixth grader, like a big, bad middle schooler.

Fast forward almost 30 years and it is my own son who is having his last day of fifth grade, the last day of his elementary school before he goes to middle school.  

His last day was a bit different than mine.  It was a kinder, gentler send off.  No Joan Jett & the Blackhearts.

No this day was a celebration of all their elementary school achievements.  The ceremony was basically an attempt to get every single parent in the room cry.  I personally did not let anyone down.  I cried when the kids walked into the room wearing their fancy clothes.  I cried when the teachers gave speeches.  I cried when they showed the video of the kids when they were kindergartners.  I cried when they sang So Long Farewell from The Sound of Music.  I mean, come on, you would have to be dead inside not to be moved by sweet little voices singing "good-byyyyye." 

Before I went that morning, I was a little bit judg-y, thinking my god why do we need a ceremony for everything.  Do they need to be celebrated all the damn time?  But after going and seeing all the joy, all the pride, there is no judg-y-ness.  This was a morning full of love.  I was deeply moved by how much heart and soul these teachers put into their jobs.  I was overcome with gratitude for these kids--grateful that they had this experience, with these teachers, at this school.  Parents, grandparents, siblings all filled the cafeteria clapping and crying.  It was love.  What a send off.
I showed up late (-er than everyone else, but still before it started!) and had to sit in the back row.  I've always shown up late, since kindergarten, or maybe all these parents show up early.

This ceremony felt especially emotional because this passage of time is significant.  Sure graduating from high school is major, but leaving fifth grade, leaving elementary school, that's major too.  That whole cafeteria knew that pretty big changes are ahead for these kiddos who won't be kiddos for very much longer.  Voices will change, bodies will change, hormones will dominate, eye rolling will become just part of who they are, assignments will matter more, grades will matter more, friends will matter more, their phones will matter more.  All of us in that cafeteria knew.

We also knew/know that it will be so interesting to see who these kiddos become.  What will they look like?  Will they fall in love with science in middle school or art or both?  What will their voices sound like?

So yeah, have a ceremony.  Celebrate the milestones big and small.  Honor the good moments, the good memories, the connections, the relationships.
This is the 'we have no necks' picture.

These kids may not strut off the bus with a Joan Jett snarl, but they will know they are loved and that will feel pretty good when they head off to big, bad middle school, I know that for sure.

Here's what else I know (this week):

  • Forgot what the Joan Jett snarl looked like?  It's fierce.  After watching the video, imagine a school bus full of attitude-filled, suburban, midwestern kids rockin out hard to this song.  It's all very John Hughes.

  • School is over and the summer can begin. Woo-hoo!

  • It all goes by fast, so fast.  Here's my son's elementary school years in 6 seconds on Vine.

  • Music lyrics can be a little tricky with kids.  How do you handle the whole situation?  I talk about it on my latest vlog (and how I can totally relate to a Drake song).  Check it out.

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  • Day one of summer vacation and we're not sick of each other yet.  In fact we are totally in sync, proven by this very natural synchronized rock skipping picture from yesterday.

  • All this talk about childhood and the wonder of it all made me think of the fabulous show The Wonder Years.  I loved that show.  Here's a little flashback Friday clip.  So good.

  • My puppy is driving me crazy.
She's like "yeah, so what?"

  • We are all about the summer, but the weather here is less than hot.  Yesterday we huddled under towels after getting in the pool for five minutes.  Bring on the heat, we are ready for it.

What do you know for sure (this week)? C'mon, we're friends, share what you know. What's your week been like?  What are you looking forward to this summer? Tell me about it. Leave a comment here or on the Facebook page.

  Please come play with me on Instagram @jumpingwithmyfingerscrossed.

I'm linking up today with my good buddy Greta from and Sarah at for the #iPPP link up.  They host a link up where they encourage people to share "your funny, your yummy, your heartfelt, your favorite photos of the week" from our phones.  Check them out.


Oh yeah, and come follow me on Twitter @AngelaYBlood, subscribe to my MomPulse YouTube channel here and follow my Pinterest boards here.

1 comment:

  1. OHMYWORD. "Goodbye, Farewell"?? SERIOUSLY?! I'd be a freakin puddle on the freakin FLOOR.

    Going into sixth grade is a huge deal. It gives me hives to think about that, a little bit. Hopefully, that'll change in the next three years or so? Probably not.

    I LOVE that song, and I love that bus memory. That's what it's all about, sister.

    Oh, and because I haven't written enough yet....the first day of school picture?! AH-MAZ-ING.