Wednesday, July 13, 2011

no more school, no more books...

... no more getting up at 5:45am to get the boys up and ready for school!

Wednesday, June 22nd, was the boys' "graduation" ceremonies for school. Each year group (grade) had their own awards ceremony, speeches, etc. It was a bit tedious, but also fun to see the boys with all their friends.

Eloise was only a week old, so was quite the attraction.* Simon couldn't even manage to stay in his seat. He kept coming over to my mom and I, and asking when he could show Eloise to Miss Denise or telling me in a not-so-quiet whisper that so-and-so wanted to see the baby. It was sweet, but also a bit nerve wracking since I knew he was supposed to be getting an award... but didn't know which one.

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Turns out he got the Music Award. He adores singing. He has an amazing memory and does a surprising job carrying a tune, whether the song is in English or Spanish. I did get a kick out of his music teacher's notes on his report card though... something about having a "strong voice" but needing to "learn to control it". 

That's teacher-speak for "your son is LOUD".

Anyone surprised? 

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Liam's time slot was after lunch, so we spent some time at the school letting Andrew run around and showing Eloise to some of the staff and students. 

For Liam's year group, there was only one award in each category per year. So only about 7-8 awards for about 40 kids. Liam was a bit disappointed to have not been chosen, but we talked about how it really wouldn't have been fair for him to be given one when he was there for less than half the year while all the other kids had been there working hard for the whole year.

Besides, we made it clear how proud WE were of him. 

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Friday, June 26th, was the boys' last day of school. Official. 


And huge sigh of relief! I can't tell you how much Peter and I were looking forward to this day. 

My mom, Andrew, Eloise and I arrived at the school laden with snacks (strawberry lemonade bars) and gifts (pounded flower bookmarks) for the boys' teachers. We found Liam finishing up break time and lined up to head back to his class. What I didn't get a picture of was Andrew running up to throw his arms around his big brother. Andrew's displays of affection always draw huge reactions from the other kids. 

And the girls dig it.

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At Simon's class party, they had a special time for the kids who are moving and won't be at the school next year. His teacher, Miss Denise, gave each of the four kids a special book with pictures of them throughout the year, and little messages and drawings from their classmates.

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Simon was so thrilled with his book. He had both his teacher and the class assistant, Miss Natalia, read it to him in succession. That night he insisted on having it read to him a half dozen times by Peter AND me AND my mom. It's now been put someplace up high to keep it away from little fingers who started to pick at the decorations, but I can see how much Simon would love a special photo book (or ten) for his birthday or other special occasions. 

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Simon with Miss Natalia

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Simon and Andrew with Miss Denise

After Simon's party, we headed up to Liam's classroom. We were there about an hour early, which allowed time for an impromptu health and science lesson about reproduction, gestation, birth, babies, etc. Liam's teacher did an incredible job covering an amazing array of topics in a short time. The kids asked questions and had the chance to hold Eloise.

Then the party started.

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Liam dancing with Andrew and John

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playing a who-can-stay-still-and-quiet-the-longest game.

School was a bigger adjustment for Liam than for Simon. There were a few bumps -socially more than academically- but he really did a great job. He ended the year strong... and with some really great friends. I'm not going to fool myself into thinking that these elementary school friends -of only five months, really- will be life long friends. But you never know. With the nature of the foreign service and embassy life... you just never know where we'll all end up.

* * * * * * * * * * * 

After school, Liam headed to the house of a friend for one last playdate.

My mom and I came home with Eloise and the younger two boys... who got into the markers.

Simon emerged from the bathroom looking like this...

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he declared he was a ninja

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this is his "ninja face"

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clearly being a ninja is serious business

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We followed this up with a flying-jump-kicks-off-the-couch photo session, but I'll save you seeing those hundred pictures.

Until later.

*In Colombia, women don't leave the house with their babies until after the 40 day mark, so seeing a teeny, tiny newborn out and about drew quite the crowd! I don't know what all those ladies do for forty days (leave their baby with the nanny, perhaps?), but the reaction to Eloise has been a tone of fun to witness. Walking through the crowded Sunday market draws audible gasps from all sides... everyone from the lady selling high end leather goods to the scruffy youth selling gum and cigarettes on the corner. So funny.


  1. Interesting fact about the Columbia ladies not leaving the home until after the 40 day mark.

    The serious ninja photo is unbelievable. Amazing!

  2. I always feel that the last day of school is met with a feeling of bittersweet.

    Ah the 'marker' game...always a hit with the kids.


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