2,105 calendar days.
1,080 school days.
No matter which number Amber and I look at, the one thing that is true is that the time flew. 2,105 days ago, we took our shy, timid little Kaitlyn to elementary school for the first time. 1,080 school days have passed since then, and Kaitlyn is officially finished with elementary school.
And what a ride it has been.
Over the last 2,105 days, we have seen our share of ups and downs, and we have weathered the time as a family, and we have become stronger for it. We’ve been fortunate that there have been a ton more ups than there have been downs over the last almost 6 years.
It has been amazing to see the growth that Kaitlyn has experienced over the last 6 years. If you would have told Amber and I on her first day of school that she would have a speaking part in the 4th grade play, we would have suggested that you get your head checked; but she did have a speaking part, and she nailed it. Amber and I have countless examples just like that one, and they all elicit wonderful memories for us.
We knew even before day one that Kaitlyn would succeed at her school, and that her teachers would be in her corner the whole time. Amber and I can’t thank her kindergarten teacher enough for reaching out before that first day and having us come in so Kaitlyn could get comfortable; the cool part is that Kaitlyn will get to see her for the next 3 years in middle school.
If it weren’t for her first grade teacher battling for her to get another shot at the gifted test, Kaitlyn would not have been as challenged as she needed to be in the classroom over the last few years. Jennifer knew that Kaitlyn missing the cut by a point or two was a fluke, and Amber and I are very thankful to her for believing in Kaitlyn.
Amber and I firmly believe that Kaitlyn had the absolute best teachers during her time in elementary school. Each of them challenged her when she needed to be challenged, and none of them allowed her to ever take the easy route.
During the journey from the first day to today, Kaitlyn has made some amazing friends (we were even fortunate enough to become close with some of her friends’ parents, too) It was really neat to observe the way these kids interact with each other as we rode the bus to and from Sea World last week.
Kaitlyn excelled in the classroom over the last 6 years (if you’ve read this blog any, you already knew that!), and she earned the President’s Education Award for Outstanding Academic Excellence at her Completion Ceremony yesterday. In addition to her success in the classroom, Kaitlyn was an outstanding citizen. I can’t even tell you how many times her teachers, coaches, and administrators would tell Amber or I, unprompted, what a joy she is to be around. They would cite her kind heart, her sweetness, her gentle spirit, and her respectfulness; for Amber and I, those things affirmed to us that we are doing a few things right!
Most of the last 1,080 school days have a fist bump and high five for Kaitlyn and I, and that is one of the things I will really miss as she heads to middle school. Sadly for me, I won’t be sitting in the drop off line for the next three years; I think (hope) that Kaitlyn is a little sad about it, too (I know she will miss watching the “sunscreen/bug spray dance” each morning!).
These last two days have been somewhat bittersweet with Kaitlyn finishing up a great 6 years. During the Completion Ceremony, the class sang a song titled, “Do I Make You Proud,” and yes, Kaitlyn makes us proud every day. The future holds great things for Kaitlyn and Amber and I will be here to support and encourage her, just like we have for the last 2,105 days (1,080 school days).
In about 80 days, middle school starts. Kaitlyn is ready for the new adventure!