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Saturday 23 June 2018

School's Out 2018

Today we're finishing up our first week of Summer vacation so I figured it was about time I shared the end of the school year here on the blog.

The last week of school was a big one for our family. It was Ava's last year of 5th grade and elementary school. It was also the last week that Ava and Lola will ever be at the same school together. Knowing that my oldest baby will be going into middle school in the Fall is daunting enough, but knowing that she'll never be at the same school as either of her sisters again is well, kind of a little sad. I went to a school that encompassed Reception (Kindergarten here in the US) through to 12th grade, so my younger brother and sister were always at the same school as me, even though my sister is eight years younger. My girls, on the other hand will go to three different schools for elementary, middle school and high school. Lola and Mathilde will have a few years together in elementary plus one year together in high school, but for Ava, that's it. No more sharing a school with her sisters.

As always, the last week of school was crazily busy. This year was even more so than usual with graduation celebrations for Ava including the 5th grade dance, the annual 5th graders versus the teachers kickball game, her big graduation ceremony and a grade wide picnic in the park. Lola and Mathilde also had end of year celebrations, which just happened to coincide with Ava's graduation ceremony, so that left me running around town like a crazy person! Or, you know, like my usual self! 

Of course, I was taking a gazillion photos at all of these events, or at least the ones that I was able to attend, so here's a look at our last week of school for 2018...
First up we had Mathilde finishing preschool for the year. She actually missed her official last day and her moving up ceremony because it coincided with Ava's graduation. I would've loved for her to go to her moving up ceremony, especially because she had been practicing songs for it, but I felt like it was important for the whole family to be at Ava's graduation. Ah... the joys of parenting multiple children! Mathilde also missed seeing one of her teachers on her actual last day as she was off attending her own child's graduation, so we had to say goodbye the week before.

Next up we had the 5th graders versus the teachers kick ball game at school. This event happens every year but I've never gone along to it before so I had no idea what to expect. It was pretty crazy! If you're not familiar with kickball, it's kind of like baseball, but with a soccer ball that gets kicked instead. The entire school came out to watch it and cheer on the players. All eighty or so 5th graders got to play, so as you can imagine the game went on for quite some time. And it was pretty serious! The teachers didn't show any mercy for their younger opponents and went all out when kicking the ball and tagging 5th graders running between bases. There were quite a few balls kicked into the crowd (by teachers and the principal) and more than a few kids knocked over! Nothing like I expected. Everyone had a ton of fun though. Apparently the teachers ended up winning, but how anyone was able to keep score is beyond me! You can see some of the chaos in the video below.

Now, this one's not really school related, but it explains Mathilde's appearance in upcoming photos. The night before Ava's graduation Mathilde decided that she wanted to be a unicorn. A green unicorn. This meant that she hid herself away in the dining room and colored in her entire face, arms, legs and neck with a dark green marker. You may have seen this already on my Instagram, but if not here's what she looked like. Most of the marker washed off in the (very long) bath, but she definitely had a distinct green hue to her face in Ava's graduation photos! She was so incredibly proud of herself!

On to the main event... The 5th grade graduation ceremony was held last Thursday, on the second to last day of school. The 5th graders entered the auditorium very ceremoniously before  welcome speeches were carried out by students in all of the eighteen languages spoken in their grade alone. Eighteen different languages! Berkeley certainly is a multicultural city! Then there were a lot of speeches and thank yous from the principal and each of the three 5th grade teachers. Each of the students recited an "I am" poem about themselves. Ava's poem was "I am Ava. I am my Mum's creativity when I make art. I am my Dad's skills when I play video games. I am my sisters' joy when we play." The 5th graders were then each called up individually to receive their graduation certificates before it was time to celebrate with family and friends.

After the graduation ceremony we quickly took photos and handed out gifts to Ava's favorite teachers and school staff before heading to a nearby park to drop Lola off at the 1st grade picnic, which unfortunately had been scheduled for the same time as graduation.

I didn't get a chance to take any photos at the 1st grade picnic as I literally dropped Lola off and ran. And I mean literally! I had planned to take Ava out for lunch with friends and they restaurant wouldn't allow us to take our table until we were all there. So I dropped Lola at the park and ran back to the restaurant where I'd left Ava and Mathilde with our friends. I would've loved for Lola to come along to the lunch as well, but she really didn't want to miss out on the remainder of the 1st grade picnic. At lunch we got a glimpse of just what middle schoolers look like - cell phones and all - plus a lot of silliness from a certain green child.

And then it was Friday, the last day of the school year for 2018! Lola had a regular day at school, although I'm sure with more fun activities than usual, while Ava had the 5th grade picnic at a local park. I was busy with Mathilde's swim class and catching up on work so I wasn't able to attend Ava's picnic but I made sure to take photos before and after school. Here the girls are heading off on their last day together and after school with friends and teachers.

We finished up the end of year celebrations with an icy treat at one of our favorite gelato stores before heading to swim team

What a busy week!

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