End of an Era
I'm not great with milestones, and this one is no different. After five years of co-operative preschool and kindergarten, today was my last day of working in Wyatt's coop classroom. Our school year ends this Friday, and I'm the "Wednesday" parent. One might think it's a relief to be free of that commitment. And maybe it will be, but today felt more like a bittersweet end than a welcomed one.
As primarily an at-home parent for the last six years, I have found great community and amazing parent "colleagues" through co-oping. Wyatt has flourished while practicing how to be a thinking, caring, empathetic member of a community. Five years of co-op has taught him social skills, self-advocacy skills, and how to successfully interact with grown ups and littles, alike. We have developed a universe of friends.
I will miss it: the spontaneous hugs from other people's kids, the monthly seminars on how to become a better parent, potlucks, the the silly songs, free choice time, field trips, hand stamps, kid cubbies full of paintings and hot-glued art, and homemade play dough . . . . It's all become familiar and part of our routine these past five years.
We've been in co-op since Wy was 18 months old. We started with Northwest Toddlers, once a week. Then Northwest Pre-3s twice a week. After that we moved to Woodland Park co-op for more mud and less structure, starting with the 3s Class that met three times each week. Next it was four afternoons a week in the 4/5s. And this year it's been 9-2 every day in kindergarten.
Everything about it has been worth doing.
Being done is hard.