It's been a couple of weeks since my Ella Bella's last day as a kindergartener happened and things have been kinda crazy around here with graduation celebrations and summer vacay things. But I'm finally in a good place to finally share it all with ya!!! My emotions have kinda been ALL over the place (shocker) and I'm still in denial about the fact that I am now a mother of 1st grader. 😳😭 So crazy, right? Like WHEN this happen? This whole 'watching them grow up' thing does not get easier for me. Being a mom is the most amazing and rewarding experience for sure! And watching my sweet girl conquer every milestone makes me so SO proud. But it tugs at my mama heartstrings knowing that each milestone we celebrate brings her closer to adulthood and well... I'm just not ready to let my baby go! 😭😭😭
Here's a recap of our last week of school...
Last Day of School - Thursday, June 3rd
On Thursday, June 3rd, Ella (and I) had our very last virtual class with Señora Agosto. And I bawled like a big baby. No joke. And I still tear up when I think about it. On a normal school day, we would have had 3 virtual sessions but because it was the last day, and we had to drop-off/pickup some things at the school, Ella's teacher did just 1 session. And you would think that the kids would be so excited to be done with class... but it warmed my heart to see that even when it was time to say good-bye, almost every single student stayed on to talk with their teacher and classmates for a few minutes more.
Let's rewind a lil bit to see what my little girl looked like on the 1st day of school in the Fall of 2020...
How is she already lookin' so grown?! 😭😭😭
We've seen Ella's teacher a handful of times throughout the year but every meeting was socially distanced and all of us were masked up. And while Ella's school was still taking all the precautions and implemented a drive-by drop-off/pickup, ya know we couldn't let the year end without getting a pic.
Ella really loved her teacher this year and is really gonna miss her! So far, she's had a great Pre-K teacher and an awesome Kindergarten teacher. We're hoping it keeps going and we love her 1st grade teacher, too!
Virtual Graduation - Tuesday, June 1st
Because these kids weren't going to be able to have an in-person ceremony, Señora Agosto put together a virtual ceremony complete with caps & gowns and a full program of songs and student performances. The school principal even made an appearance and said a few words. It was a milestone that needed to be celebrated and I thought it was the cutest thing ever!!!
What About Everly + Preschool w/Mommy?
And we can't forget about Everly! Because of the pandemic, we refrained from registering Everly for real preschool. And since Big Sis was doing distance learning and I was her at-home teacher, we thought it'd be good for Everly to be Ella's classmate! She loved it! Especially the arts n crafts part 😂.
...and look at how little she was back in August!
Oh and I am happy to report that she has been registered for REAL preschool in the Fall. And she can't wait!
Saying Farewell to Distance Learning
I cannot believe we freakin' survived an entire school year of distance learning! And, not gonna lie. I am gonna miss it. All of it. I know in the beginning, I kinda dreaded it because I was nervous and afraid that I wouldn't be capable of teaching her all the things she needed to learn to keep up with her grade level. Especially since she's enrolled in a dual language immersion program for Spanish. But all the nerves went away once things got rolling. And I have Ella's teacher to thank for all that we have achieved in this process. Ella's teacher is THE BEST. She loves to teach and is very dedicated to her students and their success. And she was there every step of the way which made this entire experience easier to navigate.
To be quite honest, I really enjoyed it. After I mourned over the fact that Ella Bella wouldn't get to experience Kindergarten the conventional way that I got to experience, I realized that I needed to make this year a good one despite it all. I needed to look on the bright side of things - the fact that we GET to do this as opposed to HAVING to do this... made all the difference. Because I got to have my babies home with me every single day for the past year and a half since the beginning of this pandemic. Because I got to have VIP front row seats to watch her learn and interact with her peers. Because I also got to know her teacher and classmates and their parents on a more personal level that we most likely would not have had the chance to if distance learning did not exist. I mean, we were invited into each other's homes virtually and got to meet siblings, other family members and even pets... it was GREAT!!!
Sure distance learning is not ideal. It is new, scary and different. And let's not forget just how messy and confusing it all was right at the very start of lockdown last year. But over the summer, these teachers worked their butts off to make it work. To fine tune all the things that went wrong. Yes there were challenges. And it wasn't easy peasy all year round. And it definitely was a team effort. But you know what? These kids are the real MVP's. They are so smart and SO resilient. This temporary change did not break them. They persevered. They totally rocked it. They freakin' did it! And we (Ella & I) enjoyed every bit of the whole process.
So yeah I cried like a baby at the end of it all. Because I am going to miss it. Schools are reopening up in the Fall and both of my girls will be in the 1st grade and Pre-K. And even though I would love to do another round of distance learning again, I know I can't be selfish. There's only so much my non-Spanish speaking self could teach them!
I'm gonna miss having these 2 with me 24/7...
However your 20-21 school year looked like, whatever challenges you may have faced and conquered... we survived it all! And we made history. So here's 🥂 to closing another major chapter of our lives and let's move on to tackling the next. 🙌