For six years, the kids and parents of Farmer have grown together. We watched our adorable little babies enter with wonder and a bit of fear while secretly realizing we also had a bit of each in our own hearts. The school was beautiful, but rather barren, with lots of technology, fancy rooms, and fresh paint, but still needing the personality and breaking in that our kids would bring.
Slowly the school came to life, with artwork, singing, laughing, shouting, and a bit of crying. Our kids learned essential skills, made new friends, and went from building with blocks to learning the building blocks they'd need for lifelong success in school. Together we took field trips to farms, museums, Biztown, and more. We learned how to play homework tic tac toe with relatively simple work in kindergarten, but eventually finding ourselves questioning how we'd get through middle and high school if we couldn't handle the math problems our kids were getting in fifth grade. We had our hearts melted by adorable school assemblies and watched our children meltdown over projects that overwhelmed them (and us). Every day we read journals full of updates about lunches, goofy stuff that happened in class, little buddies, heartbreaks, annoyances, and all of the little bits of life that make our own adult lives seem rather mundane. We learned that when "I say Farmer, you say Dragons!" as we marched proudly through the streets of J-town. And we cheered like crazy as Farmer's basketball team made us all proud by becoming champions. And we teared up a bit when we found out the team didn't name an MVP because they felt everyone was critical to their incredible success. And as parents, we made new friends with parents that who would share this grand journey.
Tomorrow my daughter will celebrate "graduation" from Farmer Elementary and set her sights toward Noe Middle School. We'll mourn the relationships that may end tomorrow, but look forward to the new possibilities that begin next year. To be certain, my wife and I will shed many a tear as we watch the festivities tomorrow.
A heartfelt hank you to the teachers, staff, administration, parents, and children of Farmer Elementary. Thank you to Ms. Durm, Ms. Nelson, Ms. Walters, Ms. Mattingly, Ms. Exley, Ms. Oskins, Ms. Cornelius, Ms. Davis, Ms. House, Ms. Mayer, Ms. Conlon, Mr. Toole, Ms. Lovelace, Ms. Weaver, Ms. Kopp, the wonderful custodians, and everyone else that I may have forgotten. Thank you to the PTA for the many tireless and thankless hours spent by the various boards building up funds, creating a wonderful playground, organizing several wonderful events, and addressing the various needs of teachers and the school each year. Thank you to the parents who folded tables, swept floors, handed out donuts, pondered over the meaning of "Naked Pizza", picked up our kids after school, and who simply smiled and said "hi." And thank you to the fifth graders of Farmer Elementary, for making my wife and I laugh, cry, shake our heads in amazement (and at their silliness) while becoming friends with our own little one.
Tomorrow many of us will weep as we see our little babies walk away from Farmer on their next step toward adulthood. I wish all of the students and parents the best as we all take the next step in this grand adventure. And all of my love to my daughter, wife, and extended family for their help in making our Farmer experience great.