Today was Frankie's last day of kindergarten. The days are long, but the years are short.
We sent her off with trepidation, but she ended the year reading, writing long epistles, and madly scheduling playdates with her girlfriends without asking me first. One of her favorite little friends, Anna, left before pictures were taken, but they are an adorable pair. Mrs. Nason's one complaint about Frankie all year was that she needed to "loosen up" and not follow the rules so compulsively, but then she seated Frankie and Anna at the same table. They spent the last month giggling and talking when they weren't supposed to. Mrs. Nason told me this with a gleeful smile and actually did a fist pump when she said "I even had to tell them to be quiet!."
Frankie's friend Libby is in a state of despair at the prospect that Frankie may be homeschooled for first grade next year. She asked her mom four times to be sure we had exchanged phone numbers, but I caught them on camera writing it down for themselves. The lack of trust in their mothers is troubling.
Molly will miss her daily rendezvous with her friend, Gus, the little brother of Frankie's classmate Zella. With their blond hair and blue eyes, they look like twins and spent most of the winter trying to access the snow-covered swings. Gus even tried to win Molly's heart by sewing a tiny pillow for Susannah, but Molly is firmly entrenched in her convictions to marry her father.
In spite of my reservations about peer pressure, Frankie seemed to learn mostly good things from the other kids this year. Seeing other kids eager to read piqued her interest, her obsession with drawing and artwork was groomed, and she learned uber-responsibility about her school items. I will miss seeing her frantically stuffing her backpack, double checking with me that she had the right shoes, the right papers, her gloves and boots and purple coat laid out like a wraith on the hardwood the night before ready for her to rush into at 7:30 a.m. though she didn't have to leave until eight. I'll miss hurrying her through episodes of Arthur and peanut butter toast with butterscotch chips while peeling her nightgown off and pulling on her socks.
We could not have made it through this year without my dad showing up crazy-haired and bleary-eyed to pick Frankie up so I didn't have to lug Susannah through the frosty mornings and frighten the other mothers in my red velour robe. Frankie will always remember school mornings with Opa.
Goodbye, my first kindergartener.