The preschool graduation ceremony took place last week Wednesday for both preschool classes - the Sunshine Room (Jacob's class) and the Fireflies. Aunt Michelle, Aunt Jennifer, Sydney and I were all there to cheer him on. However, there was one very important person missing that day, and it broke my heart. Jacob seemed to be unscathed by Matt's absence, thank goodness, but I know he still felt it.
Jacob wasn't the only child there who was missing a daddy... I met a woman in my little town last Tuesday who also lost her husband just this past January. She has a five year old little girl. Turns out, her little five year old girl and my little five year old boy are in the SAME preschool class. What a small world... Privacy laws dictate that the teachers of the school couldn't disclose who was who to us, but we each knew there was another child in the class who lost their daddy the past year...
It was a tough day for her and I, and I'm so glad that we had met the day before the graduation so we had each other that day to lean on. We were both missing our husbands, and wishing they were there with us to watch this momentous event in their child's life.
I'm not exactly sure what order the kids were being called down from the bleachers, but Jacob ended up being the very last kid to have his name called. He was so patient the whole time, sitting up there waiting while everyone else's names were announced. The kid has a longer attention span than I do - I was starting to get fidgety and distracted by the time they got to him! A teacher helped a very excited little Jacob down from the bleachers, and I saw him turn to her and say, "I love my mommy!" She came up to me later and told me about it, just in case I didn't see that. It touched her as much as it touched me. My sweet little love...
After the ceremony, there was a very sweet slide show that had pictures of the children from the beginning of the year until now. Jacob had such a baby face at the beginning of the year... it's amazing how much all the kids have grown in just nine months. Looking at those early pictures, I was thinking to myself, that was when he had a daddy. When life was good.
After the slide show, we all went back into the classrooms to see the projects that the kids have been working on throughout the year. One of them was a collage of family pictures with captions. It's titled, "My Family." I had forgotten all about the request at the beginning of the school year to bring in some family pictures. The next pang of pain came from the Father's Day project that Jacob did for Daddy.
We all ran through the rain to get back to the van. I gushed over Jacob about how proud of him I am and how well he did, and told him that I'm sure his daddy is very proud of him, too.
By the time we got home, I was emotionally spent. I held it together really well the whole time at the school, got the kids home and tucked in, and then I fell apart. It really makes me mad that everything good that happens in our lives will be bittersweet from now on.