School’s Out for Summer!

And just like that, I have a fourth and sixth grader.  This whole elementary school thing is speeding by waaaaaaaaay too fast and I can’t believe Hadley is entering her final year.

One of the nice things about them going to different schools is they have had a slightly different schedule so we’re able to celebrate their start and end dates separately. Bode’s last day was Thursday while Hadley’s was Friday. I made each of them a special breakfast with our hallowed “You Are Special Today” plate and Bode brought up the unthinkable. “MOM, who is going to get the plate next year when we’re at the same school?!”

We ultimately decided Hadley would use it for breakfast because sixth grade is a big year and she’s transferring back to her old school. Bode generously said he’d take it for dinner. If only our biggest problems could always be who gets recognition on their special days!


Bode has had a wonderful third grade year and pulled off top grades in everything except for one element of writing. As we were pulling together his teacher’s gift, he observed “Mrs. Acosta is my favorite teacher I’ve ever had.”

I replied, “Put that in the note. She’d like to hear that.”

“Well, maybe I should put that she’s my favorite teacher I’ve had so far because there might be some I like more in the future.”

Maybe that’s why his writing grade was lacking.

He usually takes the bus home but I went to school, hoping to catch that initial leap and jump for joy as he celebrated the end of the school year. It didn’t happen. I was talking to my neighbor Meredith and when the bell rang, he didn’t notice me and raced for the bus. “Dude, I’m right here!” He reluctantly came back, posed for a picture with his teacher and begged me to ride the bus home with his buddies one last time. And so I drove home by myself and took that celebratory shot when he got off the bus.

It would appear you take what you can get with fourth graders.


Hadley has had a great year despite the school mess.  The year isn’t a total loss (well, besides the lack of learning, chaotic environment and the fact most of her closest friends are leaving the school. :-) Field Day and Big Time Trampoline Fun Center were fun. Her fifth grade has spent the entire year training for a multi-school Pentathlon that consisted of javelin, sprints, long-distance, discus and Greek wrestling. She came in first in the sprints in her city group and second in long-distance.

Her victim brother will testify just how dominant she is in the wrestling.

Make no mistake: Were it not for her unqualified teacher and interim principal’s refusal to let her transfer classes, we would still be there through eighth grade. My anger and frustration have subsided and I’d been feeling indifferent about pulling her out until my friend sent a video she made for Hadley’s previous teacher, Mrs. Price, before the bottom fell out this year. We had two amazing years with dear friends and a true experiential education as she has flourished in the arts and outdoors. We’ll choose to forget her third year. A few screenshots from the video of Years 1 and 2:

The Great Pumpkin

Mesa Verde National Park Camping Trip

Outdoor classroom

Adventuring at Balcony House

Apple picking + making apple pies

Organic farming camping trip at White Fence Farm

Fireside storytime

Bestie London

Sand Dunes National Park

Her favorite moment from school was summitting the highest dune in North America with only a handful of hearty souls.

The Mama

As for me, I celebrated my final day of freedom the best way I know how: I went hiking on a new-to-me trail, Independence Mountain, and indulged in Country Road Cafe with my friends Debbie and Jennefer.


On Friday, I squealed to Jamie “It’s the last day of school!”

“Yes,” he wryly observed. “Looks like your vacation is over and now the real work begins.”

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