May 2021 marks the end of an era; eleven years at our elementary school. When Addison started eleven years ago we were all fresh faced and excited to start our elementary career. Our school had a legacy of being the “art-centric” school in town. People who had attended as children called it a “magical place” and held it in such esteem that I wondered if, perhaps, their memories were tinted with rose colored glasses. Needless to say, we started with high hopes.
But nothing stays the same. Places change, neighborhoods evolve, teachers retire, principals come and go and the culture that once was slowly disappears. In our first year at the school the long-time music teacher who was holding everything together passed away and the loss of his leadership and tenacity was the beginning of a rocky road where everyone was just trying to keep the wheels from falling off.
Looking back on Addison’s departure from elementary school, I couldn’t be done with the school year fast enough. Everything felt difficult and devoid of joy. If you had told me then that in five years I would be crying as I took Harry to his last day of school because I was sad to say goodbye, I would have laughed in your face.
But that is exactly what happened. As we drove through the drop off line and waved to the teachers, we saw kind, happy faces where there once had been stressed and disgruntled ones. They waved back at us with tears in their own eyes.
In a school year that most parents would say was only full of lemons, our principal team figured out how to turn those bitter lemons into the sweetest lemonade. We all drank deeply from their lemonade stand of creativity and compassion.
To say thank you to the teachers and principals that endured so much with us over the years, we held a “Goodbye Teachers” brunch. We toasted all of Harry’s teachers over the years, including music and PE teachers, librarian, G/T teacher and principals who were still at the school.
Being a hostess is my love language. Putting in the hard work to make a gathering beautiful and delicious is my way of saying thank you. But I will only do it for people who I love and are truly special to me or people I feel need an extra boost of appreciation; so I hope these amazing friends and educators know how special and appreciated they are.
We have crossed the elementary school finish line with full hearts.