Well, we made it. It was very close. There was a flurry of last minute activity, running around town, and last night crafting but all projects were finished, all gifts given, and a few tears shed. But it was good.
Kulia rocked Kindergarten. I was overjoyed that she was placed in Mrs. Derry’s class. Leina had loved it and I knew it would be a good fit for Kulia. Boy was I right! Kulia looked forward to every single day of school and came home full of happy chatter and proudly displayed worksheets. The end of this year was a bit sad. I wish I had another McL waiting in the wings. I’d love another year of hanging with Jenny. She is beyond fabulous.
And, of course, no year would be complete without good friends. Kulia’s very best friend from preschool was in her class this year and the girls were inseparable. Emily finds Kulia uproariously hilarious and Kulia adores Emily’s sense of adventure and imagination. They are a very, very good match. I hope we get lucky and have Em in our class next year too!
Kulia also made a lots of new friends. On her first day of school, she sat next to a sweet little girl named Payton. That first new friend is so special. Payton has an older sister so every day when we went to pick up Leina, Kulia and Payton would run around the front lawn together like the wild kids they are. Never once did Kulia bemoan the fact that we had to get Leina. She was always excited because she knew Payton would be there. Her other good buddy is Julianne. They are in a dance class together and have such fun working on all their steps. Both girls are sweet, kind, funny and smart. Just the type of girls I love to have around! Kulia picks very very good friends.
Leina’s year was a bit rougher. First grade started out hard. None of her friends from last year were in her class. Her teacher was 8 months pregnant on the first day of school and they didn’t know who would be subbing during maternity leave. I was worried. But, as it often does, what looks at first like disaster turned out to be better than ever! The school managed to find the most fabulous and wonderful substitute teacher! Mrs. Taylor was crazy and wild and full of ideas and energy. She had big plans and loved a class that was loud and creative. The kids adored her. She was like something out of a movie. While every other class was bent of worksheets in silence, Mrs. Taylor would toss them aside and decide on something totally inventive and fun. Awesome. Every Friday I helped out in the classroom and every Friday I was blown away by what she could accomplish. Even better, after maternity leave was over, the two job shared so the kids got to keep their beloved sub right through to the end. The only sad bit is that next year, Mrs. Taylor won’t be there. So our end of the year farewell was a bit hard to swallow.
Mrs. Machan was the exact opposite. Her classroom was quiet and orderly. She had a ton of tricks to settle the kids and taught them countless songs about colors and numbers. I didn’t get to know her as well as I would have liked since she was out on leave for more than half of the year. I’m secretly hoping Kulia is placed in her class next year so I can get another shot. But, when she was there, she really managed to teach those kids a ton and Leina adored her.
Friends were hard for Leina this year. Many days, she came home in tears with stories of feeling alone. She excelled in the classroom but felt lost on the playground. She wanted her old friends and seemed lost on how to make new ones. And then. Somehow. It happened. About half way through the year, she found her group. They were silly, silly girls who all loved Pokemon, drawing, singing songs, and teasing boys. Perfect. On the last day, Leina broke down crying again but this time it was at the thought of leaving behind these hard won friends. I don’t blame her! Here are all the girls in her class. Sweet and silly!