As always, there are mixed feelings. I’m excited for her to move on to new experiences and challenges but I’m sad to leave our safe, awesome, community-oriented little school. We’ve had a connection to the school since Chloe started nursery there 15 years ago. Even though the older kids only went there for a year or two, we’ve always felt like it was our school. A few of my closest friends are moms I met there. Some of Spencer’s current high school friends were his nursery school classmates (he doesn’t really remember them from nursery, but still!). I’ve walked the five blocks to and from school literally thousands of times, sometimes four times a day when Neve came home for lunch. I know all the staff and when Neve was in the younger grades, I used to know all the parents. Neve has had excellent teachers and built strong friendships. No school is perfect and there have been a few bumps along the way, but overall it’s been an idyllic elementary school experience. My wish was for Neve to grow up with strong community connections, which the older kids don’t have to the same degree. I’m sad that they didn’t get to experience it like Neve did, but the school was very different back when they were in nursery. Our decision to send them to private school was a tough one, but I think we made the right choice for them. They did well and were happy there; I just really wish they could have had the same local experience that Neve did. I loved having her close enough to walk home for lunch, especially when she was younger. I love that her school friends all live within blocks of us. I love walking to her concerts and events and meeting up with the other school families.
Even though we only have a few weeks left at our beloved little school, the connections will continue since we’re still in the neighbourhood. Not only that, but Neve will be going to the nearby middle school next year which will expand and strengthen her community. Unless it goes terribly wrong and she hates it and gets bullied. Then I take back everything I just said.
(To be clear – I am definitely not against private schools. They have many advantages, which we have experienced firsthand. School decisions are hard and as parents, we do what we think is best for our kids. Also, we probably way over-think these decisions. I know I did. We are lucky to have so many good school options; the kids will be fine! I hope!)
All that reflecting just to say that we went to Neve’s last-ever school carnival last night. The carnival is a big deal. We’ve gone almost every year for the last 14 years, even when we had no kids in school there. We are always there from start to finish. Dale and I used to run around keeping an eye on the kids as they ran from bouncer to face paint station to karaoke, etc. When the kids got older and didn’t need supervision, we volunteered at different stations. Neve was in her glory yesterday; when you’re in grade six, you rule the school and all that comes with it. She was a face-painter (or leg painter) and she got to go in the dunk tank. I’m not sure being dunked in gross water is a bonus, but luckily some people think otherwise. The weather was gorgeous and it was a perfect evening to end our carnival years. Even Chloe and Spencer popped in briefly for a bite to eat. The best part of all was that we won TWO silent auction prize baskets! We buy tickets every single year and have only won once or twice in 14 years. But this was our night! We won a night & breakfast at the Inn at the Forks, gift certificates for the restaurant at The Fort Garry Hotel, Carne, and 529 Wellington, passes for bowling and the Manitoba Museum, Bath & Body products and more.
Maybe I spoke too soon about not going back to the carnival … we might go back next year just for the silent auction.
From the end of an era, let’s move on to new beginnings. We had a wedding shower for Bailey on Sunday. She was (well, still is) a beautiful bride-to-be and lots of people came to celebrate and eat and bring gifts. Here are a few pictures.
Chloe and I made a Jeopardy quiz game, which we were quite proud of. Each table had to answer questions in different categories. It may have gone on a touch too long, but it seemed to go over well. Focus less on my face and more on the Jeopardy board.
Things got crazy at the end:
I was unaware of these pictures being taken; when I looked at my pictures, I was pleasantly surprised to find the evidence of a photoshoot gone wild.
I'll leave you with a link to The Daily Bonnet, which usually makes me laugh. My favourite paragraph is the second-last one that ends with Taunte Lina saying "... it doesn't give such." Cheers to my Taunte Lina in heaven! http://dailybonnet.com/coca-cola-adds-mennonite-names-bottles/