My eldest is leaving Mayo this week. Amid the chaos of this last month I have been trying to pin down exactly how I feel about this milestone. As always, I am reflective; more reflective than most, I imagine. I tend to over think and over analyze and hash and rehash things in order to give myself insomnia, you see.
In her early years at Mayo I watched her struggle with learning to write and her frustration with learning to read. We really struggled with reading. She, at times, hated to read. Tears of frustration and many nights of exasperation were experienced in our home while trying to sound out words. And I am not a patient teacher. She would start sounding out the word with the last letter in the word instead of the first. She would skip completely the middle section of words. I was convinced she had a reading disorder. She either did not, or has compensated for it. I write this down so that I will remember this when it comes to Lucy and so that I will remember how far Emma has come. EMMA HAS NOT ALWAYS LOVED READING. In fact, she despised reading. Then in 4th grade Mike rescued the Science Encyclopedia's from the dumpsters at school and she couldn't be stopped. Then in the fifth grade she rediscovered fiction. Now she is unstoppable. She walks around with her nose in a book and said to me just the other day, "I would rather read a book than watch the movie for it. The book is always so much better." It was a happy day for me! Thank you Lucy Piper and Mayo!
Tomorrow will be the last day my girls will ever go to school in the same building. I don't know why that makes me so sad, but it does. I took comfort in knowing they were together these last two years. In the car on the way home from school Lucy would say "Sissy, I saw you on my way to Art today." Or one time when Lucy fell on the stairs and Emma heard her, she was able to ask permission to leave class and run to her and comfort her.
My Dear Emma,
I am so proud of you. I could not ask for a more compassionate, thoughtful child. You have learned so much in the last 7 years; from not being able to write the alphabet to being a more creative writer than some adults I know. And I can't wait to see what the next 7 years hold in store for you. These will be years of great change for you. Hold on to your sense of right and wrong. Stay true to your self and be who you want to be and not who others want you to be. Stay quirky and may you always love reading and chess and problem solving and sewing and science and earthworms and astronomy and crafting and drawing and gymnastics and sailing and swimming. Stand up for others who can't stand up for themselves. Remember Lucy looks up to you and still needs your attention. Never forget how much your father and I love you. We are here for you always. As you walk across the stage tonight to promote from fifth grade, know that no one in the room could be more proud than I am. My heart is bursting with love and pride for you. I wish you could know how many hopes and dreams you have already fulfilled. I love you so much.
Then right after we saw it Lucy said, "Mom, can I please go swimming now?"
But she just stuck her feet in the water. We made her wait until after we went sailing.
It was a beautiful day on the water, our first day on the water this year as a family. We have been too busy to make it to our lake and our boat. We really needed today to slow things down and reset compass. Today was a very good day.
Grandpa and Granna came up late in the afternoon. They are here for Emma's fifth grade promotion this week. Emma was tired from a sleepover last night and went to sleep on the boat.
The water was cold, the sun was hot and the rain held off until late in the day. It felt so good to be back on the water.
The other night we were out and about and we happened upon an astronomy club having a meeting. We loitered around for quite some time looking through their telescopes. We saw Jupiter and four of it's largest moons. We saw Saturn and it's rings. We saw the craters on the moon in great detail.
There was a dog with the astronomy club We asked his name and were told his name was Astro. I asked him what his favorite planet was. Emma said without missing a beat, "Is it Pluto?"
Dog humor. She is quick, this one.
Yes, I know Pluto has now been down graded but you get the idea.
Lucy had a ballet recital this past Saturday. She takes ballet at her school and each spring they put on a recital with other classes from the studio. Last year I was able to capture this photo.
So this year, I was expecting something equally feminine and sweet. When Lucy came home with the recital costume that I shelled out $125 for, I was, um, well, a little surprised. I tried to be supportive and outwardly positive but I knew that I would not be getting any Christmas card shots this year.
When you go to a recital you expect to see this...
But the Mayo girls showed up in this...
As the Mayo girls walked into the foyer, I noticed the other moms pull their princesses closer to them. I chuckled to myself. I wanted to yell out "North Side" or start throwing gang signs but I resisted.
I also heard someone say "minecraft" as we were walking in. Lucy's class was dancing to a song from the Lion King called "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" but I still didn't really get the costume.
This is sweet little Anna with her buddy Emma Jane. The costumes look a little better without the camo overlay. And here is Lucy with her teacher.
Tuesday night we were treated to a performance that I am still beaming about. The Armstrongs (the fourth and fifth graders) put on a musical. The playwright (yes, that is spelled correctly) was sitting front and center. I was sitting nearby and she remarked that I looked familiar. It turns out that we worked together at Holland Hall way back when. The playwright's name is Sally Adams. She is currently the middle school drama teacher at Holland Hall. She was gracious enough to let Mayo perform this musical and loaned the script, score and costumes. We are in her debt.
She went backstage before the performance and met some of the kids.
The time is 1926 and the setting is the Mayo Hotel. Tulsa is in the midst of the oil boom and two young girls from Iowa receive a letter from their Pa telling them that they are to go to Tulsa to stay with their Aunt Pat. Their mother has recently passed and he has found work in the oil fields outside of Tulsa. The rest of the story is set inside the Mayo and involves those two young girls getting acquainted with rich oil barons, bell boys, going to a ball, and worrying about their Pa after an explosion in the oil field. It is full of drama, romance and some great comedy.
Here are our leading ladies.
These three men are Mr. Getty, Mr. Phillips and Mr. Skelly of oil baron fame. They had such swagger in the play.
This gentleman here in white is Dakota and is one of my all time favorite kids on the planet. He really owned the stage.
There was a great musical number where the women faced off with the men about women's rights and equality. It was a fabulous number! And the first time I caught a glimpse of my girl.
Then my eldest made her stage debut with an emotional scene in which she cried the whole time.
Poor Gladys. She works as a hotel switchboard operator and listens in on party lines when she knows she isn't supposed to. And she was eavesdropping on someone she is sweet on but he is planning on inviting someone else to the bachelor's ball. She is already 22 and feeling the sting of becoming an old maid. Oh my...the drama.
Emma Jane really milked it for all this scene was worth. The more the audience laughed the harder she cried.
There was dancing.
There was singing.
And hysterical bus boys.
But mostly there were happy kids who really worked hard and felt a sense of pride in what they had accomplished.
There was a fancy ball at the end.
Don't these kids look like they are having a blast?
After the performance as the curtains were closing the applause was deafening. That brought Emma to tears. She said she wasn't expecting the thundering applause and loud raucous cheering. She said she felt so loved and proud of what they had accomplished. And in true Emma fashion, she remarked that it was everyone who had made it possible. That without the props, the stage hands, the costumers, the sound and lighting volunteers, it would not have been possible. She asked if she could give some of her flowers away to the assistants.
Emma with her teachers who directed and organized the musical. Also pictured is the star of the show, Sara, who sang and had the leading role.
I am pretty sure these kids are going to be on stage again. I feel like we haven't seen the last of these performers.
I am a crafty, science mom. I love to sew, print, bake, knit, iron on,
hot glue and bake. I majored in Chemistry but no longer use it in my
job. Now I just use it in my crafts and bring it up in conversation as
often as possible. I am an anagram, palindrome, word fanatic. I have a
wonderful husband and two little girls who keep me busy. I am a
recovering perfectionist who is trying to accept that life is messy.