This school year is drawing a close. I’m feeling it a bit more than others might be right now, as Ellie has school this week, will be out of country for 2, and then return for the last week of school. On January 2/3rd (I’ve already forgotten, sadly) she will start Kindergarten. This last week was largely about that transition-we had a parent/teacher conference on Monday and then the end of year concert on Thursday.
I’ve been in the teacher’s shoes for many a parent/teacher conference, and even though I’m quite close to Ellie’s teachers, I had a moment of trepidation sitting down across from them with Ravi. Long story short, they’re comfortable about Ellie moving on to K1 in January. We recognize the child they describe (positives and negatives) and she does need to work on her handwriting (which we knew) but all is looking well.
On Thursday, Ellie performed with her class at the graduation/end of year concert. The N2 kids theme was under the sea. Given what we all know about Elanor, you can imagine how happy she was to be dressing as a mermaid and performing to Under the Sea.
I recognized a new side of Ellie’s personality in this performance. Ellie is a bit of a pet for the teachers at the school and she’s used to being adored. She’s a very outgoing and popular little girl. She’s had her moments with adults where she’s randomly shy or just not feeling social. When E was doing her photoshoot after getting dressed up at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, I saw that she wasn’t super comfortable in that environment. As it turns out, she is not a natural on stage, either (which is absolutely okay–I’m just noting that this is the first time I’ve seen that side of her).
She’s super proud of her work, and knows we thought she did a spectacular job, but if you watch the video, I think you’ll see what I mean.
The rest of the show was adorable too. I loved when the K2 kids were playing a keyboard song about robots, and stopped, stood up and did the robot dance before sitting back down to play. I loved the Angry Birds themed number.
I loved seeing Ellie as part of the community, and feeling as though we are part of the GUG family. I know that may sound corny, but we are. It was a GUG teacher’s wedding we attended last month. It was a GUG teacher’s home where we celebrated Diwali. GUG teachers came over to our home to help celebrate Rhi’s first birthday. I’ve become close with them, and I’ve gotten to know a number of parents–two of my closest friends here in SG are moms I’ve gotten to know at GUG. Throughout the show, they flashed photos of the kids on the screen at the back of the stage–I was so happy to see Ellie up there at times with her friends.
As a teacher, I’ve been to a billion or so of these school concerts/graduations/plays/etc. But this is the first time I’ve seen my own kid up there, and it is a different experience.
Afterward, we met up with two families we’re close to, and chatted while our kids ran around us.
When I think about the struggles I’ve had as an expat, I have to admit that without a job I’m so grateful that I have kids. Much as having a job can help create community and normalize a new home, so too does being a parent with a young child. You get to see the same parents at pickup every day. You chat with the teachers. And if you’re lucky, like we’ve been, those familiar faces become friends.
Which is why I’m almost sick with nerves over our decision to move Ellie to the morning class next year. Perhaps an exaggeration, but the part of me that loves my little ruts and routines is stressed that everything will be different when K1 starts in just over a month.