Yesterday was the big day. The last day of kindergarten! Pee-ba was pretty excited from the start of the day — especially since I promised a special outing for just the two of us.
It started with a special hand-made card signed by mom, dad, JoJo (little sister) and Loosh (little brother) that was decorated with stickers galore. We slipped it into her lunch box for a special mid-morning surprise. Next we did a special hair-do with fancy trimmings. And then, just as on the first day of school, the whole family swept her off to meet the bus. I couldn’t resist taking a few pictures to mark the occasion.
Several hours later, she bound off the bus anticipating our outing, which she continually referred to as our ‘out,’ with the excitement of the five year old she is! Her first question was, “can we go to the pool?” But, since we weren’t quite ready for swimming season yet (didn’t have all of our gear), and it was a tad cool for me, we’d have to take a pass. After some initial disappointment, she recalled our planned ‘out’ and the excitement and anticipation returned.
We started with some shopping to find a new bathing suit for her and found success at our first store (along with a new smaller handbag for mom!). Next, it was off to Target for some noodles for the pool. I might as well have just invented chocolate, she was so happy. We topped our afternoon off with an ice cream, which she savored slowly as we sat at under the cool cover of an umbrella at a sidewalk table and enjoyed the scenery. We topped it off with her favorites for dinner and games with Dad and her siblings before trotting off to bed with her noodle.
The day was so fulfilling, especially the one-on-one time with Pee-ba — and it was clear that she appreciated it as well. As a working mom of three, creating that one-on-one time for each child can be a challenge, but the pay-off is so immediate and so rich. In the span of an afternoon, Pee-ba and I established a new set of rituals for celebrating the last day of school that’ll we’ll repeat next year and adapt as she grows. And, this will serve as inspiration for special school-time rituals with her younger siblings as they grow into the school system. These rituals enrich our time together and serve as inspiration for creating the space for even more one-on-one time with each of little one.
How do you make the most of one-on-one time with you child/ren? And what role do rituals play?