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Lexi’s Last Day of Kindergarten

168th Day of School - Last DayIt seems like only yesterday Lexi was heading off to her first day of kindergarten. She was over-the-top excited and Milo burst into tears.

Today was her last day of kindergarten. She’s older, wiser and taller.

The last day celebration included a cookout with Pete the naturalist at the Dodge Nature Center, featuring mini hot dogs (Milo ate half the pack) and pizza. Then we headed back to school to hear about some of her favorite things from throughout the year and every student received an award for following one of the school’s five overall rules.

Lexi was recognized for “safety,” because she always brought the right gear. I think that means I should get an award for sending my kid to school prepared (which usually meant stopping her on the way out the door and insist she wear something more appropriate). She also got the award for making sure everyone else was being safe too, which I’m pretty sure means she’s just bossy. She practices all day long on Milo, so it’s good to see it’s paying off.

It’s been a fun year watching Lexi grow. I think the social aspect of kindergarten—learning how to interact with other kids, following the rules, being prepared—has probably been the most important, though it’s also been cool to see her learning the academics. She’s learning how to read, slowly and with more and more confidence. Having a kindergarten teacher for a mom, some people expect reading to be a serious and early milestone in our house. But it’s actually counter-productive to teach kids to read too early (Abby could give you all sorts of reasons why—I’ll leave that blog post to her). It’s important to let them go at their own pace. And it’s been fun to see that with Lexi, to see her start to read signs in stores and read stuff over our shoulder. She’s still gaining confidence with reading books, but she’s getting there.

I’m also trying not to be too proud that one of her favorite things in school was writing.

Finally, the end of the school year means the end of a little project of mine, the Days of School. It started with me taking pictures on the first day of school (I have an addiction to feed). Then as we waited for the bus on the second and third days of school Lexi kept asking me to take pictures. So we started taking a picture every day. I think we only missed one or two days when Lexi actually went to school, and of course we missed all the days she was absent (and since she had mono in the fall, there were a lot of those). But in the end we have 151 pictures of Lexi going to kindergarten.

As we went outside to take her picture today I told her  we were taking her last picture. She told me, “Nope, you’re taking pictures in first grade too!” So we’ll see how long this thing continues.

Check out the Days of School:

Addicted to Family Photos

I’m kind of addicted to family pictures. I’m approaching 20,000 pictures in my Flickr account. 7,000 of those feature Lexi and 2,000 feature Milo. Those ridiculous numbers are thanks to the digital photography era, but my addiction goes beyond merely snapping new digital pics.

In 2007 I brought my scanner to Thanksgiving with the intention of scanning some of my Grandma’s historic family photos. In addition I raided my parents’ collection of family photos and scanned more than 500 images. A couple weeks ago I finally finished cropping, sorting and uploading them (in order to speed up the scanning process I just slapped as many photos as would fit on the scanner and scanned them, opting to go back later to crop them and label them—who knew that process would take two and a half years?). I haven’t even started going through my Grandma’s family pictures.

Why do I like family photos so much? I don’t know. I do know that I love seeing the same picture with many years in between:

Like the first and last day of school photos, taken in the front hall of our house, separated by only 13 years of education, dorkiness and new linoleum (but the same wallpaper):
First Day of School: KindergartenHigh School Graduation 1997

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