Dear Mrs Landis and Ms Jennifer,
If I were more creative and a much better wordsmith, I might fashion this note into a little ditty, but instead of “Waltzing Matilda” or “Ten Little Indians” it would be to the tune of “All the Single Ladies”, and I’m thinking it would be a movement song, yes there would definitely be dancing.
I might include lyrics about all the many things you taught Nathan. I‘d sing about the conversations your lessons inspired across our extended family. I’d tell of your tireless energy, your creative and ever-changing materials in the classroom. I’d weave something in about the great fun celebrated at every holiday, the butterflies, the puppies and so much more. The refrain would have a catchy melody and would express my deepest gratitude for giving my boy a safe, happy, rich environment to blossom in so many ways.
He leaves you not only with solid footing for kindergarten, but for real life. He’s not yet the king of coloring, but he did draw a blueprint for the “every-wary” (aviary) he intends to build. His love and knowledge of animals has been more than nurtured in your classroom, if he had it his way, we would have ten of every classroom pet at home—plus a “bone” constrictor, of course.
Nate can take hours to get through his morning routine if I let him, but he can apply knowledge and logic with confidence. Recently he was having a conversation with his Grandma about potential vacation spots. He asked where she’d like to go and she responded Belize. Without missing a beat, he said, no let’s go somewhere on a different continent. That one had several members of the family whipping out their iphones!
His mind may wander, but there have been more than one occasion that I asked him if Mrs. Landis or Ms Jennifer taught him xyz and he responded no, but she taught it to Suzy Q and I was listening. He can even apply humor to the lessons; he’s been known to refer to his girl-friends as fe-mammals and informed me during a sleepover that he and his friend would be staying up all night long, ‘cause they ‘re nocturnal (insert maniacal laughter here).
You fed his passions and his desire to learn. You taught kindness, grace, spirit, and dealt with some tough real life situations. You reminded me the infamous day of the fish funeral that most often it’s best just to keep it real with kids—they can handle it. Yes they can. Sometimes I have a hard time. Did I tell you when our dog died right before the fish incident; I tried to keep it real? Many conversations about death, cremation and locations of ashes followed. He asked poignant questions and much to both our horror, I answered them. After he thought about it all for a while, he bounded back up the stairs with a few nonchalant follow up questions, “Mommy, are we gonna get cooked up when we die? Who will get the ashes if we’re all dead and cooked?” Oy vey.
Apparently Nate is not the only one who lacks economy of words at times. I guess I am trying to say thank you both for all you’ve done and for making our decision to change schools this last year, one of the best parenting decisions we’ve made.
Stephanie and Shaun