|A proud Kinley displays her President's Award on the last day of school.|
I had been dreading and looking forward to this day, all at the same time. The last day of school meant the end of my time as Kinley's classroom teacher, and it meant the end of feeling torn about my job as a teacher and my role as a mom. It meant the end of Kinley's time in elementary school and the end of my waiting to award her the Principal's Award. But dread it or not, there it was.
I had come up with a rather idyllic idea of what the day would be like. I had thought we would spend the entire day smiling at each other, giving hugs and knowing glances, relishing our last day as daughter-student and mommy-teacher. We would shed a few tears when I made my speech about her during the awards program. We would take some pictures together. We would walk down the hallway one last time together during the traditional 5th grade walk, trying to hold it together as the entire student body looked on.
My vision did not include a fight before we ever got to school that morning. But alas. Since she didn't know she was getting any awards, she didn't know that my vision included her dressed in a cute little award-getting outfit. When I told her at breakfast that I thought she should change out of her jean shorts and T-shirt, she got mad and stormed out of the room, muttering under her breath.
Her snit continued for the rest of the morning, including the drive to school (which in my vision was supposed to be a time for mutual quiet reflection on two years of a mostly wonderful experience, preferably with a few, I-love-you-Mommys and I'm-going-to-miss-you-so-much-next-year-Mommys thrown in for good measure).
So much for my vision.
I met with my colleagues before school and whined about my broken dream, and in the meantime, Kinley must have decided to get over it. By the time school started at 9:15, all was well again.
At Mayflower Mill we give out Principal's Awards each term to students who exhibit respect and responsibility, and Kinley had received this award in the past from other teachers. But I had been hesitant to give her this award for fear that others would think I was showing favoritism to my daughter. During her first year with me I had come up with a solution. I would give her this most-coveted award on the last day of her 5th grade year. I would make a speech explaining why I had waited so long, and we'd both cry and hug each other and the whole room would erupt in spontaneous applause and think, "How sweet! Poor Kinley survived and so did Gina. Hasn't this been lovely after all? Wasn't this truly the best choice?" It would be perfect.
And actually, it went pretty much that way. There were a few moments of trepidation when my principal declared to the teachers that speeches before awards should be cut so that our awards convocation wouldn't go over the allotted time. But I decided that she would probably look the other way if I made my little speech, and besides, I had my dream to think about. The audience was supposed to be applauding and smiling and thinking about how sweet it all was, not being mad at me for disobeying my principal's orders.
|As it turned out, BOTH kids were awarded the Principal's Award on the last day! Knox got his for growing the most in reading.|
|Kinley walks up to get her President's Award from Mrs. Higgins.|