As time inevitably zooms along, yet another marker of that has come to pass: Semeli finished preschool at Mama Pete's where she has been for the last two years. She and Lorelei will attend the same school next year - Lorelei in third grade and Semeli in Pre-K.
Semeli's leaving Mama Pete's is significant, because it means our family leaving it. We spent three years there total (Lorelei was there for a year), and I've dreaded parting. We were very happy with the education the girls received: the teachers were experienced, wonderful, loving; the families were always friendly; and Mama Pete, well, she's nearly indescribable. Sure, I can give a description, but it won't begin to do her justice. She's owned the school for 65 years, just celebrating her 94th (I think) birthday. She's hands-on, taking part in running the school with love and discipline and respect. I could go on and on, and, in fact, I included an entire chapter about the school in my book.
The point is, the time came to go, and I was so sad. The girls, of course, took it in stride, but they did mention they will miss their teachers. I sensed they knew it was a big deal leaving this place.
I helped the girls put their handprints on T-shirts, and we gave them to all the teachers and Mame Pete as a gift. They loved them - or at least acted like they did. They even wore them at Show-Off Day.
This is the day all the kids show us what they learned in six weeks of swimming lessons at Mama Pete's. Yep, there's even swimming lessons at this magical place! This was Semeli's second year, and she totally took off and - pardon the pun - dived right in. At Show-Off Day, there are usually four groups, starting with the youngest kids and moving up to the older ones. Semeli was in group three, though I think she should have been in group four but wasn't because there were six kids in it, and that is the max.
She was the last one in the group to "show off," and when it was her turn, instead of swimming from one side of the pool to the other, she swam all the way to the deep end, taking a big breath in the middle, and then turned around and swam back to the shallow end where the swimming instructors were.
It was awesome! I was so damn proud.
After the event, it was obvious Semeli was proud of herself, too. We went out to dinner to celebrate, and then the next day was her last day and the big swimming party. Thus ended our life at Mama Pete's: bittersweet, wondrous, and unforgettable.