Oh my it was quite a day on Friday. The girls only had a half day and most of it was taken up by the "Happy Trails" assembly. It was a boo hoo fest I tell you. After various performances by the different age groups there were good byes for the graduating seniors, the departing teachers, retiring local staff and the departing families. In an expat school there are huge goodbyes every year but this time it was us doing the leaving! I stood next to another Mom whom I just love and whom I have served with both inside and outside the school - sigh sigh sigh, cry cry cry.
It has been a happy three years for my girls at this school. It has been my introduction to formal education from a parents' perspective and I learned a lot. We are about to enter a drastically different arena for the next couple of years in terms of schooling and we'll see how that goes!
Apart from the final assembly I thought the school did a fantastic job helping my kids with this transition. Both of their teachers had books made with pictures and notes from their classmates. They gave us a workbook to work through with the girls to help them put a narrative to their experiences.
In my attempts to be highly intentional about the kids getting closure and saying proper good byes the girls invited their classmates to Punkie Universe (a germ fest kiddie wonderland!) for a good bye party. Even though we won't be leaving for six more weeks most families high tail it out of Kathmandu for the summer break the minute school gets out. I just didn't want them to wander out of school the last day and feel that they didn't get to say goodbye to their friends.
During the next few weeks they will say more good byes to people and places that have become home to them. I don't know what this transient lifestyle will mean for each of them though I imagine each will respond in their own way. I hope we can magnify the positive aspects and minimize the negative ones of course. In reality I am not sure there is much control over these things.
They understandably have mixed feelings. They will grieve what they have left behind yet be excited about what lies ahead. Only time will really tell the piece of Nepal that they will carry with them in their hearts and minds.
Now, what are we going to do for the summer? Nothing like planning ahead - smile.