Just when I thought I was done with all that

I quit working full-time just before Big Man started Kindergarten. I wanted to be involved at my kids’ school….working in classrooms, being part of PTA, going on field trips, dropping off and picking up….It was important to me. And so I was. I helped in all three classrooms, almost weekly. I was on the PTA. I ran three book fairs, assisted one, and worked the rest. I went on more field trips than I can count. We went to art festivals, performances, band concerts, Back to School nights, and Open Houses. I felt like we lived there, but it mattered that we were involved. I knew the kids my kids were with every day. I knew a lot of those kids’ parents. I  knew the teachers, the staff.

As my kids entered middle school, I began backing away. They needed some space to become independent. I needed to not be quite as involved. I did volunteer for some things, and we still went to all the awards, concerts, and presentations. But I wasn’t in classrooms every week. I went on one field trip. I helped with one book fair. Even with Little Man’s school being more of an extended elementary, I’ve still held back from being involved. I’ve been burnt out (although that doesn’t mean I regret for one second all we did when the kids were in elementary school). Plus, my kids don’t need me hovering, constantly in their space.

I’ve always been one who struggled to say no, though. So I’ve recently felt myself being sucked back in. It started innocently enough – hosting a team building dinner for cheer last Fall. But then you start talking to this coach, or that parent, and suddenly you’re a team mom, and on the board of the Athletics Boosters Club (true story). Yeah. That. At the high school no less. Don’t get me wrong – I’m happy to help, and be involved. I just thought I was done with all of that.

I’m not quite sure how my kids feel about it. I haven’t invaded their space much, yet. But I’m starting to know people, things that are going on at their school, coaches, teachers.  I’m hoping to not be on campus while they’re on campus, and trust me, I won’t be chaperoning any dances, or field trips.

I think it’s important for our kids to see us involved, taking an active role in their education, including extra-curriculars. I think it’s more important now than an  in elementary to know the all the key players, to remain aware. They might be pushing to become independent, which they of course need to do, but that doesn’t mean I get to check out. So I’ll be a team mom, and I’ll be an Athletics Booster board member. I’ll jump back in to being an actively involved parent. And they’ll like it, darn it.

And I thought that was hard

Big Man was born 3.5 months too soon, and spent ninety-three days in the NICU. I spent countless hours driving back and forth to spend countless hours sitting by his isolette. I watched him forget to breath, watched his heart rate drop, watched him turn gray, watched him battle his own infections, watched machines keep him alive, watched him fight to survive. And I thought that was hard.

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Big Man on his birth day

Big Man came home from the NICU, and we had a home health nurse out every other week, a developmental specialist out every month, bi-weekly doctor visits for weight checks, monthly doctor visits for synagis shots to keep him from getting RSV. My life, my schedule was not my own. He didn’t want to be put down, ever. I had to learn to let go of my want for routine, schedule, time. And I thought that was hard.

When Big Man was four months old, I discovered I was pregnant with the Princess. I faced a pregnancy certain we were going to be back in the NICU. I was full of fear and anxiety. I saw a specialist OB (perinatologist) every other week, until we got past the gestational age Big Man was born. Then she had to be induced at 41 weeks 1 day. And I thought that was hard.

Big Man was developmentally nine months old when the Princess was born, so I basically had two infants under one roof. They are twelve months and nineteen days apart. Sleep was at a premium. Bottles were everywhere. We all three cried for hours every evening. And I thought that was hard.

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Big Man had high muscle tone on his left side, and a mild speech delay. Enter therapists visits to the weekly routine. And I thought that was hard.

When Big Man was nearly two, and the Princess eight months old, we moved….400 miles away.  I left my career of ten years. I left my family. I left my friends. I left my church. We moved in with spouse’s  (awesomely amazing) parents for eight months while our new home was being built. I found a new job I hated. It took forever to build new relationships. I had two toddlers in a new place, and I wasn’t entirely happy…yet. And I thought that was hard.

I had two toddlers under one roof – two toddlers who were like the wonder twins. I couldn’t keep up with their creative disasters. They finger-painted with baby shampoo in the middle of Big Man’s room. Baby shampoo NEVER comes out of carpet, ever. They unraveled a Costco-sized package of toilet paper up and down the upstairs hallway. They threw another Costco-sized package (out of the plastic wrapping) into my big jacuzzi bathtub. They ran away, down the street and around two corners, while I fed their six-week old baby brother. Big Man cut ALL of the Princess’ hair off, to the scalp, twice. They colored the underside of the pool table. I caught them, frequently, eating frozen waffles underneath the dining room table. Ditto bags of candy they’d climb on top of the fridge to retrieve. And I thought that was hard.

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I had three kids under four. I can’t even list all that drama, but I thought that was hard.

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The Herd in earlier days

There was a time they were all three involved in multiple sports….baseball, soccer, dance, piano lessons, golf. I lived at whatever field it was the season for.  I spent hours and hours in the car getting them each to whatever practice, game, lesson, or recital. And I thought that was hard.

Big Man was diagnosed ADHD, and with a mild visual processing disorder in second grade. We chose to medicate the ADHD. He fought the medication for the first year. I’d find pills hidden in the kitchen drawer, under the lazy susan in the middle of the kitchen island, and pretty much anywhere but in him if I didn’t watch him take it and make sure he actually swallowed it. He got glasses, and we got an every-six-months schedule of appointments with the pediatric opthamologist. And I thought that was hard.

I had three in elementary school. I went on field trips. I taped, glued, cut, copied, read to kindergartners and third graders, ran the book fair, was on the PTA, and basically lived at the school. We lived in nightly homework hell. And I thought that was hard.

Little Man was diagnosed on the autism spectrum, and ADHD, in second grade. It nearly broke me, but we finally had an answer, and a plan, and help. We entered the world of IEP’s, special education, accommodations, speech therapy, psychiatrists and therapists. And  I thought that was hard.

We moved on to middle school for the older two – ugh, middle school and middle schoolers. They each got their first phones, and we had to start talking about internet safety, data plans, and had to come up with rules of how we would handle things. And I thought that was hard.

Now here we are…..two days away from having three teenagers under one roof. Two are in high school. I was ill-prepared for the drama, the angst, the emotional rollercoaster, the pushing back against rules we’ve had in place forever, the angry words that instantly bring tears to my eyes, the eyeball rolling, the intense search for independence, the life-lessons they are learning through which I just want to help but know I need to stand back and let them have at it, come whatever the natural consequences will be. I’ve watched my biggest baby boy struggle to find his way academically when it used to come to him so easily I think he took it for granted. I’ve watched P fight to find herself – somehow losing (hopefully temporarily) the brave, bold, confident girl we used to know. Then, recently, came the day Big drove himself and P to school, his driver’s license finally earned. And I think this is hard.

Within the next five years, I will watch as they have all the rest of those “firsts”, as they graduate, and leave for school, only ever to come back for what will essentially be visits between semesters and school years. I know I will look back on all those things I thought were hard and will know that was nothing, because watching them go be their own people, away from us, my heart living outside of me (possibly far away from home), now that, that will be hard.

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Back from Crazy Town

I am slowly returning from Crazy Town, aka the last two weeks of school. It was an insane two weeks of end-of-the-year projects, awards ceremonies, events, musicals, and promotions/graduations.  We pushed ourselves through every day as if each were a marathon to be survived and merely finished.  Little Man had a couple of rough nights, some outbursts, and a couple of meltdowns. All of us were exhausted. But it’s done. Summer has begun. Yesterday was a full-on checkout day, besides some cleanup and filing away. We’re still pretty slow and calm today.

The Princess had her oral surgery Tuesday morning. We were both pretty nervous how it was going to go. We’d heard a few nightmarish stories for this particular procedure. It seemed our worst fears had been realized when three hours after the procedure, she was bawling her eyes out from the pain.  She turned a corner immediately after and not only was back at school the next day, but dancing her full schedule two days after the surgery.  It’s awful to see your kid in pain and not be able to do much for her. I sat with her as the tears flowed, impatiently waiting for the ibuprofen to kick in. I felt helpless. I’m so thankful her recovery was quick. With everything else going on this week, I was working with limited emotional reserves.

Little Man’s 5th Grade Musical was Wednesday night.  He had chosen long ago to not participate, more because the rehearsals are a personal nightmare for him. About 2/3rds of the way through rehearsals, though, he ended  up helping with props, and found his own little niche. So we were there the night of the performance to watch his classmates, and support his efforts behind the scenes. He did make one appearance on stage – helping transport the boxes of “tea” a la the Boston Tea Party. I almost cried watching him happily run with the boxes from one end of the line to the other. He contributed to the performance, and he was super proud of himself. I was once again thankful for teachers and  staff who allow and encourage my guy to be who he is, but still find a way to let him be part of things on his level.

His 5th grade promotion was Thursday morning.  Oh boy.  I was tearfully anxious. Ironically, it was sprinkling a bit Thursday morning so the ceremony had to be moved inside. He hates indoor assemblies. They’re so loud. But he was awesome. He received his certificate for passing the 50 States and Capitols test, and then his promotion certificate. He’d received the President’s Gold Academic Award last week. Before we were ready, the ceremony was done. And we had just one day left at our school.

Friday was  Big Man’s turn, with his graduation from 8th grade. He was given an Outstanding PE Student award by  his PE teacher, and finished the year on the Principal’s Honor Roll with a 4.0 for two trimesters of the year. It seems impossible he is headed to high school in just two months. Right after his ceremony, I had to quickly get to the elementary school to pick up Little Man and say our goodbyes to our school.  He’d had a rough day, with lots of tears. He’d taken Jaws with him to school, something I didn’t fight, knowing he needed whatever he needed to face an emotional day. He was pretty tearful as they sat listening to their teachers and the Principal talk and wish them well. Then it was time to go. By the time we walked out of the gates, he was fine, chatting happily with his buddy A who was coming home with us. I was a weepy mess. Once we were home, we were all good, and the celebrations began.

We’ve turned a corner. We’re in a new phase in our lives.  There are big changes looming. They’re exciting, and we’re happy. The emotions have settled down now that it’s done. Bring on summer 2015!

Getting the Oustanding PE Student Award

Getting the Oustanding PE Student Award

My two 2015 graduates

My two 2015 graduates

Sliding towards the end

We are in the home stretch, the last week of school. It’s a cliche, completely, but this year flew by. And yet, so much has happened, it has seemed a long year as well. Don’t judge – my brain has no clue which end is up at the moment.

Four more days…four more wake-ups. Little Man has his Fifth Grade Musical Wednesday night. He decided long ago he did not want to participate, but a couple of weeks ago, his SAI was out so he had to go to rehearsal. He ended up helping with the props and decided he was totally good with that. So he will be behind the scenes Wednesday night, but will still be part of things. I’m super proud of him, and he’s happy to have a role within his comfort zone.

The 5th grade promotion ceremony is Thursday morning…and at the same time as the 7th grade awards. So we are missing out seeing the Princess get a special award. Sigh. I hate when I can’t be there for my kids, particularly when they are being honored.

Friday morning brings 8th Grade Graduation for Big Man. Right afterwards, we go back to the elementary school to pick up Little Man from his party, and say goodbye to our school home of the past nine years.

In short, I’m a hot, weepy mess.  My babies are growing up. Big changes are coming. And the thought of leaving our school for good on Friday is more than I can take. Two teachers already had me in tears last week. They have become family, part of our Herd. I’m so thankful for social media and the opportunity it provides to stay connected.

I have things to do, but after my run this morning, I decided to just stay home this afternoon, and enjoy some quiet time getting things done around here until pick-up. I’m excited for summer…..for sleeping in, not having to go through the morning routine and rush everyone out the door every day, for not dealing with homework battles and projects, for having time to relax, hang out with friends, go to the beach, take in some baseball games, maybe go to the zoo. But the next four days are just going to be emotionally exhausting, and pretty bittersweet.

Mom Winning Moments

It’s been a banner of a day as far as being a mom is concerned. Heck, it’s been a banner of a year so far. So in the spirit of full-disclosure, I thought I’d share some of my best with you.

* I told Little Man this morning as he started down the road to tantrum (exceedingly different from meltdown) to “stop banging on everything and pull (his) sh$@ together because I’ve had enough already, and it’s only 7:02am!” Nice, right? As an aside, I am not a person who swears at her children, ever. But it was really one of *those* mornings, and yes, it was only 7:02am. Oh, yeah, and I hadn’t had any coffee to speak of at that point.

* The Princess has the 7th Grade Renaissance Faire at school tomorrow. Not wanting to be a total fail, I bought her a costume. It arrived yesterday. Upon trying it on, she informed me I “needed to sew it, because it’s too big.” I calmly but firmly told her there would be no sewing of any kind. She can, and should anyways, wear something underneath, I’m not altering a costume she’s going to wear one day, and the dresses in the Renaissance period didn’t fit like her ballet leotard and tights. She gave me a look, humphed, and stomped off to her room.

* I was fifteen minutes late to Big Man’s academic bowl last week because I hadn’t bothered, until I was in the car, to look up the address and map it, only to find out when I arrived where the map told me to go, I was still halfway across town from where I was actually supposed to be.

* I’ve double-booked myself so many times in the past five months, it’s actually embarrassing.

* I’m so over the school projects. I’m pretty sure my kids can hear my eyeballs rolling to the back of my head when they inform me they need yet another tri-fold, or ask if I’ll pull the Cricut out to cut titles for them. I know these projects are important to them, and they want to do well, but jiminy multiply two or three projects times three and this momma is toast.

* I’ve hardly volunteered at either school this year. I’m tired. I have a bazillion other things to do. Although I did chair the book fair at the elementary school this year, which has meant basically living at the school for a week, and three more days next week.

* I completely forgot one golf lesson, and called Big Man in sick for two of them. They’re on Monday afternoons. Ouch.

* I’ve been so busy getting ready for our fundraiser next week, normal chores have been neglected. Little Man had to hunt for clean pants to wear. We also ran out of bowls yesterday because the dishwasher was full and I forgot to turn it on.

* We’ve been doing a lot of “fend for yourself” meals – aka frozen waffle night –  lately too because by 4pm, I’m exhausted, and/or hauling the Princess to the dance studio.

There’s just a few. Hope they make you feel better about where you are in life. But if you care to share any of your winning moments, I’m happy to listen.

Nothing to see here folks…just your usual “mom losing her mind” flora and fauna

Oh, blogging friends and followers – I am a freakin hot mess at the moment. You’re going to need to tolerate me the next few weeks. I’m trying to keep up with my writing in the midst of the craziness, and I do get to peek at a few of your posts, but I haven’t been commenting nor responding much. Epic fail as a fellow blogger. I apologize! I’ll get back to regularly-scheduled programming come June 1 (hopefully!)

We are 18 days away from our annual Team Roo fundraiser. I. Am. Losing, It. I know everything will come together. Stuff will get done, or it won’t, but the stress always reaches peak levels at this point. I have 8 more items on my to-do list, and that’s just stuff that needs to happen to the house. There are five things on the party-prep to-do list, added to the stress of “Will they come?” and “Will we reach our goal?” much less writing my little speech and organizing the night. I have an awesome committee helping this year, but in the end, it’s my show. And I’m freaking out!!!! Who decides to paint the entire downstairs of their house three weeks before a party? This girl, that’s who. And now that I’ve painted samples on no less than four walls, it has to get done, right? Right!

On top of all this insanity, we have your normal end-of-school-year craziness happening….projects and reports coming out our ears. The Princess has the 7th grade Renaissance Faire next week, for which I have to put together her costume. Little Man has Open House in two weeks. Tomorrow morning,  Big Man is participating in the district Academic Bowl. Somewhere between now and the end of the year, the Princess will also have a portfolio night and an award ceremony. And I’m our book fair chair this year. Our BOGO fair is two days before the Team Roo fundraiser. Seriously. And don’t even get me started on the last day of school. Thankfully the Fifth Grade Promotion ceremony was moved to the day before, but Big Man will graduate 8th grade on the last day, and then I need to get back to the elementary school to pick up Little Man, and cry my eyes out saying goodbye to the teachers and staff there. Did I mention the parking at the middle school will be an utter disaster? I’ve seriously been anxious about this day since the beginning of school, trying to figure out the best logistics to make it all work. I know we aren’t the only family facing this same nightmare.

We’re also in an orthodontic hell with the Princess. She has a tooth that hasn’t come down, despite pulling the baby tooth a couple months ago, so off to the periodontist we went. Except even with three x-rays, he couldn’t get a good grasp on the exact location and position of the impacted tooth, so we were sent for a CT Scan (cha-ching!). Now we have to wait another week to go back to the periodontist to get a treatment plan. Princess is freaking out with anxiety over the entire process.  She wants desperately to be knocked out for whatever they’re going to do, especially as she’s heard stories from friends who’ve been through the same or similar on how painful it is. The waiting is pushing her over the edge. I’m tired of hauling kids to all kinds of specialists.

Oh yeah, there’s still a household to run. My family will still insist on being fed every day, along with the fur babies. Laundry doesn’t do itself, nor do the dishes. And we’re also still going to golf lessons, football practice, and dance classes. And since exercise is one of the few things helping me hang onto that last shred of sanity, I’m working that in there as much as possible too. Sigh.

We all have our seasons of crazy. Be patient with me. This too shall pass. Are you in a crazy time too? How do you survive it?

Staff Appreciation – An Open Letter to our RC family

We are counting down the days we have left with our RC family (25). I’m excited for summer, but truly dreading the last day of school. I tear up pretty much every day pulling into the familiar bus loop to drop off or pick up. Every time I sign in to volunteer, I know I’m almost at the end. Every time I drive up the street to our school, I’m aware once we’re done,  I will have little need to drive that way again. I know it’s time for us to move on. Little Man is ready for his next adventure. We’ve been here for nine years. We’ve had huge wins, and we’ve had some heartbreakingly terrifying moments. Someday, my kids will have to struggle to remember the names of their elementary teachers. For me, they are etched on my heart. They are part of our Herd (whether they want to be or not  – Hah!). Since it’s staff appreciation week, I wanted to take some time to thank each and every teacher or staff person who has played a role in my children’s elementary education, which is pretty much everyone at that school.

Mrs. I – I was terrified when Big Man was starting kindergarten. We had held him out to start school a year later than he could, but I still worried he was ready. I needed someone to “get” my baby, to love him, encourage him, not only accept his quirkiness, but encourage it, not stifle his need for hugs and strong guidance. You gave him all of that, and more.  When I sat in your classroom for our first parent/teacher conference, you told us the expectations and I stared at you like that was never, ever going to happen. You helped make it happen. You gave us our first hint at what life at RC was going to be. Your humor and sarcasm so in tune with the way our family operates. You not only helped my boy reach and exceed those expectations, you gave me courage, and you loved him. Thank you.

Mrs. S – We were still feeling our way a little bit. We didn’t know any of the first grade teachers, but trusted our guy had been put in the right place. We met  you at an exciting time in your life and were so happy to witness your joy. You taught two of my babies, as different as they are. You gave them a safe landing place that was also fun. I loved sitting in the back of your classroom, listening as you taught. Your spirit strong enough to guide energetic boys, yet gentle enough to draw out shy, unsure little girls. You helped both my olders flourish. Thank you for letting us be part of your personal journey, for taking the time to understand our journey, and for always having a hug and a laugh for all of us.

Mrs. L (or Miss F, as we knew you back then) – You, my dear, are so loved. Your heart for the kids and your joy in doing your job are evident every single day. You light up that school with your endless energy. We are SO happy you dream of becoming a full-time, permanent teacher at RC was realized. I knew in those few months of Big Man’s first grade year, you had that thing that makes a teacher special. You gave me confidence in helping kids in the classroom.  And I still have the angel you gave each volunteer that first Christmas as you prepared to hand the classroom back to Mrs S.

Mrs B – People said you yelled. They looked at me with trepidation when I told them the Princess had you for her kindergarten teacher. I was a little apprehensive, but that was quickly put aside. You had a challenging class that year, yet you handled it with grace, laughter, strength, and love. My girlie adored you, and she excelled. I will always be grateful for our talks on mothering boys. You helped make me a better mom, along with teaching my daughter how to read and write.

Mrs. L – Oh boy….I have no clue where we would be without you. Between both boys, we’ve been blessed to spend four years in your classroom. We threw it all at you, and you not only took it in stride, you loved my boys. You  helped me when I was sure I was losing it. I will never forget the phone call I received while in the middle of the grocery store from you…you calling just to let me know that on the last day possible of the school year, Big Man had reached his reading goal. And that’s just the teacher you are, the person you are. I can’t even…there aren’t enough words. There aren’t adequate words. Love you. And thank you.

Mrs. Ch – Thinking about you makes me smile, and cry. You have such a peace and calm that is infectious. You gave my Princess a safe place to break out of her shell. You understood my precious Little Man, and helped me understand better his needs. You’ve been a fount of advice and encouragement. I will never forget the first day my Little Man gave you a hug of his own volition. We all cried. That you understood what that meant…You have been a gift to our family.

Mrs. C – You continued the work with my Princess Mrs. Ch began – giving her a safe, comforting, loving place to continue to spread her wings and gain courage in the classroom. Being in your classroom just felt warm and fuzzy. That you could manage 32 kids without ever raising your voice, that you recognized the strengths of each child individually and tapped into that, that you do it all with such graciousness and a smile….those are special gifts in a teacher.

Mr. S – Thank you for all you did for our Big Man. You are another who manages without raising your voice, and I don’t know how you do it. Your passion for what you do is so evident. You gave my guy encouragement, helped him learn how to fail and pick himself back up, and that it is okay to be wrong even in front of the entire class. He remembers your words and continues to apply them in the classroom even today.

Mrs. J – You too had the joy of teaching both my olders. Lucky you, especially in back-to-back years. They are so different, and yet you touched both of them, encouraged both of them, understood both of them. You helped us navigate the fifth grade waters, and prepare them for middle school. I hope you’re enjoying retirement. You deserve it!

Mrs. W – Thank you for toughing it out with Little Man. What a brutal year it was for him. I wish we’d  known what was coming so you wouldn’t have been blindsided. Yet you loved him through it, saw past the prickliness to the brilliance inside. And with the Princess, you helped her deal with the dreaded girl drama. Fourth grade is so difficult. You helped two of my babies through it, and we all came out the other side. Thanks for putting up with us, and for letting me basically run mini-book-clubs in your classroom with the reading groups. I loved every minute of it.

Mrs. F (Mrs. C now!) – We’ve been friends a long time. Our kiddos have been together since preschool. And you took my Little Man on, accepting the challenge with love and a big smile. You get him, and you helped me so much to see his gifts rather than just his struggles. That kindergarten year was such an amazing year and I’ll never forget it. Love you.

Mrs. A – You had my P for just a couple weeks, and we are so happy we had that time in your classroom. We think you’re an amazing teacher. It’s been a joy to watch you become a mom. Your heart for your work, your love for all your students is so very evident. Every student you teach, for two weeks or a full year, is blessed.

Mr. B – Lucky you to have the joy of seeing our family out the door. Hah! I asked you before this year started how you’d drawn the short straw and ended up with Little Man. You said then you didn’t see it that way. Thank you. You’ve been exactly what he needed this year. I love that you get him. He loves your sarcasm. I truly appreciate your patience and no-nonsense attitude with him.  He’s flourished this year under your care. You’ve lived up to, and exceeded expectations.

Mrs. C (speech) – I love seeing you around school, and I did before we ever had any interaction with you. Your smile always seems to be present, and I can’t tell you how that lifts the mood of everyone who comes in contact with you. Thank yo ufor taking my boy on, for understanding his needs, and for helping him with some particular challenges. Thank you for giving him a safe place to learn and work on social and emotional skills.

Mrs. C (nurse) – I love you lady. You’re just awesome. We wouldn’t have survived the last two years without you. Enough said.

Mrs. M (F) – I’ll be honest here..you used to scare me a little bit. That was before I  knew you. Your love and advocacy for my Little Man gives you a permanent place in our herd. In those worst moments, when he wanted it all to go away, you were there, helping us both. I haven’t had to fear an IEP meeting for two years now, because you know his needs, and give him what I’m going to ask for before I even have to ask. Our school is so very lucky to have you.

Mrs. M – When we found out we were getting our third principal, we were all a little worried. But you came into that school and did exactly what needed to be done. You’re amazing. Your energy and spirit are infectious. You handle what needs to be handled when it needs to be handled. Your loving care for my littlest gives you too a permanent place in our hearts.

Not to be forgotten – the front office staff L and S. You guys are amazing. Thanks for tolerating us and for all your help over the years. Thank you for laughing with me. Thank you for not laughing when I was having any one of *those* days. Thank you for your gentle care and concern the last nine years. I’m convinced we will never ever encounter a front office staff as capable and fun as the two of you. And Mrs. C (library) – Your love of books and reading has encouraged countless students, including my three kiddos. Thank you for your endless hours connecting kids with just the right books for them, and for all your help with the book fairs.

There. I’m sure I’ve missed someone. Just know, if you’re on, or ever have been on, staff at RC, we love you. It’s breaking my heart to think of leaving those gates for the last time. But you will always be in our Herd. Thank you for everything you’ve done for our family. You’ve been entirely more than teachers and staff.

Love,

The Herd