Saturday, July 25, 2015

Our Graduate

Alright, I hate this picture of me, but don't Molly and Eric look adorable?

Molly graduated from Grade 7 in June. It's a big step in our family, seeing our oldest bird fly out of the elementary school nest. She's enjoyed some tremendous growth over the course of this academic year. That's due in large part to this guy:

Mr. Bartlett has had a huge and very positive impact on Moll. Every once in a while, the right teacher comes into your life at the right time. This is very good luck when it happens. For the first time in a long time, Molly had a teacher she wanted to make happy. Over the course of the year, her desire to please him morphed into a desire to please herself. Her standards for her own work changed. As a parent, this was pretty thrilling to see. There will be more academic bumps on her road (we all have to face them), but this hugely important transitional year was a true success for Molly. Her hard work and Mr. Bartlett's guidance and mentorship combined to create something terrific.

Here's Molly's graduation class:

Their brilliant grad poster:

A lovely shot of Moll:

The kids' school is a very special place. It's small and very family-feeling. Two of the teachers who were important in these kids' lives who have since retired, Mrs. Miles (Grade 2 teacher) and Mrs. Berney (teacher/librarian) returned to celebrate with them.

Molly and Lucie:

Mr. Woo, the principal, delivered a remarkable speech. A combination of words of wisdom and Taylor Swift lyrics, it was right on the mark.

Every student stood up to speak. Their speeches varied in length and tone, but it was amazing to see each kid stand up with a baby picture behind them...and then with poise and confidence, a short speech.

Molly's was just perfect. I was so very proud seeing her there.

Mr. Bartlett offered the kids a beautiful parting lesson and they all sat, rapt and attentive to this final offering.

And there it was, over. Elementary school ended with a couple of handshakes and wise words.

As a parent, we hope to steer our kids through this world with a minimum of pain and heartache and a maximum of moments just like this one. Moments of culmination. Moments to savour achievement and celebrate progress.

I hope we have lots of these to come. But in the meantime, this was just perfect.

And there she goes, into the future.

And with that sweet smile, her natural optimism, her humour and can we not stand in this moment and shake our heads at the time that's passed, the girl that's growing and the woman on the horizon. Bravo, Molly. Bravo.

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