Friday, May 20, 2016

Kindergarten Graduation

Keeping in line with the whole "no more babies" thing going on around here...

He's already asking when first grade starts.  Patience, my son...let's have a wonderful summer first; a summer where you and your sisters can still be little kids before you're all in school full-time and your oldest sister heads off to junior high.

They really weren't joking around when they said that it would go by fast.

My Girl and I Made a Quilt Together

Last summer, Junebug begged me to take a "Mommy & Me" Learn to Quilt class with her at the summer art camp for children in our town.  I obliged her, and two weeks later she had a cute little quilt that she "made with Mom." The moment it was finished, she started asking if we could make another one.  "Maybe next summer?" was my response, "We need to focus on getting you ready for the new school year."

"You mean second grade?" she asked, "I don't want to go to second grade.  I want to be done with school."

"Well, that's a bit of a problem, because you've got about fifteen years' worth of school ahead of you still, babe," I answered, "but don't worry, second grade is one of the best years of school.  You're going to like it a lot."

"No.  I'm not.  I hate school."

We had multiple bouts of this conversation in various ways, each time ending with her declaring her abhorrence for all educational endeavors.

The first day of school came along, with her frowning through breakfast, rolling her eyes as I chirped about all the new things that were waiting for her and her siblings in the new school year, and scowling and dragging her feet as she made her way to the bus stop.  I prayed that the day would soften her heart, but she returned home with the same sour look on her face, and the next morning it was more of the same.  Awesome. the end of the first week of school, she was converted...because she fell in love with her teacher.

So, when she ran home from the bus stop sometime last autumn, burst into the house and screeched, "My teacher is going to have a baby!  CAN WE MAKE A QUILT???"  I immediately replied with "Well...YEAH!"

I made her wait until she knew what the baby was going to be, and she skipped through the door right before Christmas Break and told me that her teacher's baby WAS A GIRL!  Over the course of Christmas Break, while I worked on other projects, Junebug mosied through my craft room, taking fabric out of drawers and asking opinions about whether or not her newest selections looked good together before launching into chattering about the things that were on her mind.  It was a lovely way to spend those winter afternoons.  She's such a sweet girl.

We continued on in this fashion for weeks, until one day when I took a little gander at the "pre-order" page at my favorite online fabric shop and saw the Vintage Picnic fabric collection and started crushing hard enough to actually consider pre-ordering a bundle of it...but then I started to talk myself out of such an extravagance.  But then my lil' Junebug walked by and saw the fabric on the computer screen and she stopped dead in her tracks and said, "Can we use that fabric for the baby quilt?  It's pretty."  And her eyes were all big and shiny with the pleasure of looking at a beautiful thing...what else do you say to those eyes besides, "Well...YEAH!"

We made it through the wait until the release date, and spent many a happy hour discussing fabric placement and auditioning our choices.  I was wrapped up in birthday season and the last mile of prep for the Amethyst & Diamond banquet, so we had to wait until mid-April to begin actually working on the quilt, but it's an easy pattern that comes together quickly, and we went with an all-over stipple for the quilting, so we were good on time.  I finished binding the quilt last week, and two hours later I received an email from the Room Mother announcing a surprise baby shower for the teacher.  Perfect timing.

So Miss Junebug skipped off to school last Friday, her backpack brimming with a baby quilt for her much-loved teacher.  I hoped her teacher liked the quilt (always a gamble when it's a surprise), and I actually heard from her yesterday about how much she liked it, so yay!

Normally I wouldn't go to such lengths for a teacher's baby, but this is Junebug we're talking about, who is about seventeen clicks more enthusiastic about stuff than most people, and I am deeply indebted to this teacher--I have had to listen to a million reasons why "my teacher" is so great, and what wonderful things "my teacher" teaches about, and how smart "my teacher" is, and, and, and...I'm just so grateful for it all because that was most definitely not how I thought this last year was going to go.  This woman changed my little girl's life for the better, so yeah, a baby quilt seemed like a good idea.

Hopefully her little baby girl will have teachers who spark her enthusiasm for learning like her mama has done for my own daughter.