Cue the graduation march

Me at David’s preschool graduation:

“Whoa!? People dress up for this?”

Me on the way to Mary Virginia’s preschool graduation:

“I have an inappropriately fancy dress, and three dress shoe options.” (She decided on her Crocs.)


We also brought along an eye-rolling kindergartener who kept accusing me of not going to his preschool graduation.


I went to TWO graduations for you, mister. And I cried through both.

Mary had such a great year. She made new friends, learned to write her name, and grew immeasurably in confidence. Also, mark this year as the year she officially asked me to stop calling her Mary Virginia.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present: Mary Krieger.

Despite my attempts at a routine, setting alarms and giving many, many warnings, preschool mornings were always harried. I would inevitably morph into Hurricane Mommy, screaming “GETYOURSHOESGETYOURBAGSGETINTHEVAN!” When everyone was finally buckled in the van, Mary would shout, “MOMMY! I DO YOU HAVE SPIRIT?!?” SOMETIMES I would respond by tossing the horse to Mary while saying, “I’ve got Spirit! Yes I do! I’ve got Spirit, how ’bout you?” 

But USUALLY I would rush back into the house, yelling over my shoulder, “SPIRIT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY! WE AREN’T DOING THIS EVERY MORNING!”

And then we did it again and again and again…

I’ve never formally introduced Spirit on the blog, though you might have seen Spirit here or here or here or here or here or here. Mary got Spirit for her fourth birthday, and let’s just say I thought her curly hair was hard to manage until she started toting around this giant, stuffed appendage.

Spirit made her way to a record number of show-and-tell days (Equine! Horse! Spirit!) and some just-because days, too. Kids aren’t allowed to bring toys to preschool, but her teachers made an exception because they can tell when a little girl needs the security of a stuffed horse.

Mary was holding Spirit in the van on the way to graduation, and I was prepared to tell her that I would keep Spirit, but she couldn’t carry her on stage. But then she didn’t even ask. Spirit stayed in the van, and Mary marched on stage confidently, all on her own.

It’s hard to notice incremental change when you’re with your kids every day, I mean every hour, I mean every second, EVERY SINGLE SECOND. But when I look back at pictures from September, it’s incredible to see how much she’s grown. And not JUST her hair.

We’re so thankful for Mary’s time in preschool, and especially for her teachers. Her teachers were so kind, generous, patient, and loving with her. It is such a beautiful thing to see your child change, blossom, and to watch them respond to and form relationships with their teachers. I learned a lot from them, too.

Two days later was their official last day of school.

Hey kids! How we doin’ on the last day of school?

At the beginning of the year I wrote about how every morning I’d take everyone to the bus stop in the van. The moment the bus came we’d rushed across town to school, and because of this we were late every single morning.

We did that hustle three days a week, but I never felt like we fell into a groove. As a preschool mom, this was my worst year. I forgot bags and water bottles more than I ever have, and I didn’t volunteer once in their classrooms. Thomas not smiling for a last day photo was sort of par for the course.

It was a rough year, but taking them to school was unquestionably worth it, because  on preschool mornings my kids would get to play, learn, and hear that God loves them.

We got by this year on the grace of the kids’ teachers, and the pep talks of all the other moms I saw at drop off. It was a rough year, but we were surrounded by support, and I’m thankful.

Here’s to summer! Here’s to staying in our PJs, playing in the pool, and not having to remember to pack a allergy-compliant snack.

Can you guess which kid just found out he’s a threenager and which has her hand on her hip because she’s ready to take on Kindergarten?



  1. Chelsea May 28, 2018

    She is adorable.. Preschool graduations always get me.

  2. Ya May 9, 2019

    My sons preschool graduation is next weekend and I am going to lose it! I already know. Congrats on her next steps to big girl school!


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