I have just come from my very last “Word Wall Ball.” For those of you who are not familiar with what a “Word Wall...

I have just come from my very last “Word Wall Ball.” For those of you who are not familiar with what a “Word Wall Ball” is, it is a celebration of the kindergarteners who have learned all of the kindergarten word wall words. Word wall words are essentially sight words that the kids must learn during the first year of school. Once you have learned all of your word wall words, you are invited to the ball, which is held at the end of the year. It is truly a sight to behold!

The children dress in their finest, as do the teachers. They make and wear crowns and necklaces to the ball. They practice the “rose dance” for weeks leading up to the big day. Today was that day. After marching on parade through the entire school (while the other grade levels cheer them on), they make their grand entrance into the main hallway, where parents are cheering and clapping. It really is a spectacle, but a wonderful one.

Everyone converges on the cafeteria, where each student is given a certificate in celebration of their knowledge of all of the word wall words. The children were so well behaved and respectful of each other; it was a moment to be proud. Everyone then goes into the gym, where the girls line up on one side and the boys on the other. Now, the third-grade boys and girls are the ones who dance with the kindergarteners. My precious flower was NOT looking forward to this, and woke up this morning saying, “I just want to get this over with” as she strapped on her sparkly sandals and picked out her fanciest dress. Of course she looked adorable.

As the dance started (what they did was basically the Virginia reel), the children began to have fun. It was truly a sight. The boys and girls dancing, and at the end bowing and curtsying to each other, I dare say I got a little misty-eyed. My girl seemed to be enduring the torture as well as she could, and I think she even cracked a smile, she couldn’t help it, and it was fun!

As I watched all of them dancing and giggling, sliding and falling, I couldn’t help but think back to my sweet boy’s celebration. How quickly the time has gone; I really felt like I was just at his “Word Wall Ball” where my sweet flower tried to twirl and dance as only a two-year-old can. Now my darling boy will be starting his LAST year of elementary school. Fifth-grade here he comes! As I left the “Word Wall Ball,” I realized that this was it. I no longer have a kindergartner and never will again; I will no longer get to attend the “word wall ball” as a parent. It made me a little sentimental, and my nose did start to twitch, but I held it together.

As we dance into summer, spirits soaring at the thought of freedom, a small part of me will be sad. My children are growing up so quickly, and it’s hard to catch up.