Today was my son’s last day of school at his adopted NY elementary, Oysterponds. I was unsure of how he would fare with his odd name and if he would have trouble fitting in. We lucked out since Oysterponds is actually even smaller than his small private school in Hawaii. His second grade class, the only second grade in the school, numbered ten including him. It turns out that the new principle had lived in Hawaii for a while as her husband is from Maui. When she acknowledges the kids during Monday morning assembly, she gives them lei. It was a match made in heaven.
Thing is, these kids, the kids in the second grade are the same kids that were in kindergarten together and the same kids that were in first grade together and they will be the same kids that will be together till sixth grade. The same nine kids, for six years. So when my son joined their class, he shook it up a bit. After his fear of the school bus on the first day, he settled into the routine of it. He started learning Spanish and did so well on the standardized tests that they had him doing reading with the third graders. It was great to see how he could still be his different, not like everyone else self and make friends and just fit in. I love that confidence in him.
Today, his last day, while he was in the bathroom, his best friend Brenden left school early to go to the city. My son did not get the chance to say good bye to him and he is still crushed. He got off the bus teary eyed and sniffling. It has been like this all afternoon. All of the kids made him going away cards and they made posters with pictures from his going away luau and signed the back. When I dropped some small gifts off yesterday afternoon, I hugged his teacher and felt the tears coming but realized that the class was watching us and I was able to hold back. This is the first day of our last six days which will be full of sadness. I told my son that it is just going to get worse as we get closer to leaving. We were feeling happy for so long about heading home and now all I can feel is the sadness. Like a pit in my stomach; funny how that happens. We think we know it all; know how it will be and what it will be like and in the end, just completely and utterly wrong about everything. Seems par for the course on this trip.