The tears were flowing fast and free at my daughter Emilie’s last-day-of-school party Wednesday morning. And it wasn’t just because the kindergartners were hyped-up and over-sugared.
One mom burst into tears when I went up to say hello. She’d had a little run-in with another mom, who’d scolded her for showing up late with the arts and crafts.
It didn’t matter that she’d been up until 3 a.m. gluing class photos onto little colored-paper frames. Nor that she’d made a special effort to provide both boy- and girl-friendly sponge cutouts for collage. It also didn’t matter that she’d provided plastic sheaths to protect and immortalize the crafts projects, nor that she’d discovered, one hour prior to party time, that the paper frames didn’t fit into the plastic sheaths, and she’d had to cut them down to size.
It didn’t matter that it was her son’s third birthday and that she hadn’t been able to shop for his party because she’d had to go to her first grader’s “author’s tea” — a catered school affair that she’d left scandalously early, because she just couldn’t take it anymore.
“I hate this [expletive] time of year,” she said, in between gasps of one of those efficient little cries with which I am so familiar.
“Everybody does,” I said.
There are five class mothers in kindergarten. For the end-of-year party, one of them organized all our teacher gifts into baskets. Another made a commemorative plaque. A third made an incredible CD of photos of the kids set to music. The fourth was my slacker friend who’d messed up the crafts. And the fifth organized the party, found the room, cleaned it, organized the buffet, baked something sugar-dusted with a name like Harvey Nichols cake (or something like that), and did it all with a huge smile and a genuinely delighted look in her big blue eyes.
I arrived at the party feeling quite proud. I had managed that morning to 1) take a shower 2) work for the better part of an hour 3) remember to bring the cookies I’d promised and 4) arrive a few minutes early, which gave me the satisfaction of seeing Emilie’s face change from anxious anticipation to pure joy as she entered the room and saw me.
In the previous 10 days, I’d been through three violin recitals, many half-days of school, a “biome presentation,” camp forms, doctor visits and an overnight trip to the mountains with Emilie (sheer bliss, a thunderbolt of stress before and after ) — all during work hours. Not to mention children at sixes and sevens with each other because, well, nobody likes transitions, and a bout of screaming at Max, who’d asked me, disrespectfully, I felt, to get off the phone.
(It was 7 p.m. on Sunday. The garden hose was blasting, mud was streaming, baths were running, the barbecue was cold, and I was on a work call.
He said: “If you’re going to yell at me, then I am going out to dinner.”
I said: “Couldn’t you just get the barbecue going first?”)
“I hate this [expletive] time of year.” I stared up from my pizza at yet another mom, skinny and wired, whose tears glazed her dilated eyes like stale contact lenses. She’d spent all morning at the pediatrician’s office, she said. She was supposed to be at work, and after two weeks of bucolic mountain overnights, soccer and ballet year-end parties, the biome thing and the choral concert (did I mention the choral concert?), she was in serious trouble with her boss.
“I gotta get out of here,” she said. She vibrated before me for a couple more seconds, and then she was gone.
“Don’t you just love this time of year?” It was Emilie’s best friend’s mother now, picking a popsicle out of her skirt. “She makes me show up for these things. I leave work, and then she ignores me.”
There came a scream: “It’s time to cut the Edwardian boudoir cake!”
The class baskets for the teachers looked fabulous, each with its own perfect tissue-paper flower. The class mom who’d made the slide show had copied program guides and CDs for every last one of us. I’d had to write at least half a dozen reminders on my hand to remember to go and print out two 8 ½-by-11-inch photos of Julia for the memory books that the third grade class was forcing upon — I mean giving — the teachers as end-of-the-year gifts. (Julia’s quote: “I had so much fun in math!”)
My store-bought cookies were sitting in their plastic containers. I’d been told not to arrange them on paper plates. Did the class moms fear I’d drop them? Eat them? Get distracted mid-task and walk away? (How did they know?)
The kids inhaled the cookies in seconds. The plaque was presented to a lovely teacher whose retirement party I’d forgotten to attend at the exact moment when I was throwing a barbecue scrub brush at Max.
It takes only a few bad apples to spoil life for the rest of us, I was thinking.
The slide show began. And there were our children — all 28 of them — timid and little at the start of the year, bold and proud at the end, holding hands, making faces, climbing, painting, dancing, reading and grinning at us, and all of this set to songs like “All You Need is Love” and “Child of Mine.”
I was mortified to find myself crying. Not just tearing up, but really and, truth be told, uncontrollably crying. I hid behind Emilie’s head and soaked the back of it. I was about to wipe my nose on the hem of her dress, when another mother handed me a Kleenex. At which point I looked up and saw the red eyes, heard the sniffles and realized that we were all drowning together.
After the slide show, the other moms kept their heads down. They grabbed their kids away from the few remaining cookies, made for the door and snapped at their kids to say good-bye and thank you, and stop it.
“Mommy, why are you crying?” Emilie asked, as we left the party and the waterworks continued.
“Grownups cry sometimes when they’re happy,” I lied.
I don’t want to feel again what I felt while watching that slide show: that childhood is finite, that our days together are numbered, and that those hours in the mountains and at the biome museum are gone forever.
Better to be in a snit over cookies or phone calls or crafts. Better to keep on running, between work, home, school and the dry cleaners, between one day’s obsession and the next day’s fight.
Better to stay in a dissociated state of stressed-out busyness. Better to fight the Mommy Wars than admit how easily I can be destroyed by the wrong kind of glance from the wrong kind of person whose very eyes seem to contain in them all that I am not and fear I will never be.
Anything is better — at the end of the school year — than truly stopping to think.
My Last Day at School Essay for Outstanding Students
My Last day at school essay is here with unique wording and more than 400 words.
A man has a lot of good and bad memories of his past. It is one of the best things when you think about your school days after getting into practical life. Probably you forget about your first day at school but you can never forget your last day at school. The first and last days at school are of unique significance for students. While the first day of school may cause anxiety, fear and nervousness, the last day is surely a day of hope, confidence and preparedness.
My last day at school is still fresh in my memory. I felt very relaxed because there was no teaching work that day. May heavy satchel was off my back at last. It was a big relief for me and my other class fellows. I took the bus quite leisurely and got off that the school bus stop. My school was a bit walking distance from this point. So, I started walking with my other class fellows who were already there. We started moving to the school making way through small groups of schoolfellows of other classing, talking noisily and a good many embracing with one another.
Farewell Party by the Juniors of 9th Class
We were here because our juniors of ninth class hosted a farewell party. It was amazing to be their feeling that we are the seniors and are being entertained by the junior schoolmates. There was a good arrangement of eating which was arranged by the students of 9th class. The menu was not too big but a verity of things to eat was available. The entertained us with a variety of sweet-meat and tea.
After refreshment, a little ceremony was arranged. Our worthy headmaster and kind teachers also participated in it. It was all started with reciting Holy Quran and later a boy recited a Naat and delighted the audience with his melodious voice. Some formal farewell speeches were made on the occasion. In the end, the headmaster addressed the gathering and advised the students to work with devotion and be well-mannered to succeed and prosper in life. Before dispersing we thanked our juniors for their nice farewell party. It was one of the memorable days of my life and I cannot forget it throughout my life.
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