The Last Seconds of the Second Grade


Council Rock Primary School in Brighton is shaped like a hug. It has one main hallway flanked on each side by two other hallways that stretch out like two arms. These arms hold about 800 happy kids from Kindergarten through second grade. These arms are adorned with the colors and words that these children write, draw and sculpt. You’ve never seen happier hallways.

This school has hugged my kids – and well, me –  for eight years. Now it’s over.  Cradling a folder full of Crayola art and essays about butterflies and tadpoles, I walked out of this little school for the last time today.

My youngest, the second grade graduate, was born on the first day of school in 2003. My husband left the hospital for home a few hours after he was born, showered, and then woke up our two big kids for the school bus.

The first time Toby went Council Rock Primary School, he was under 20 days old. We carried him in the infant car seat for my daughter’s first grade curriculum night. As the school year progressed, Toby visited the school with me about twice a week while big brother got occupational and physical therapy. Sometimes he would be in his car seat, other times I would hold him in the rocking chairs that are in the lobby. The school aides would ask me how old my baby was and I would proudly proclaim, “He is as old as the school year!”

And in a flash, he is nearly eight years old. He will still kiss me and let me hug him in front of his friends, but not really.  My baby is growing up.

How dare he!

He already has the wisdom to know that time flies when you are having fun. He already senses how fast a school year can go.

Tomorrow, I’ll go through all the worksheets about math. I’ll look over how many ways my youngest got to 100 and the worksheets on how to write his ABCS. Then these will go in the recycling bin.

But what I’ll treasure most is his journal on his day-to-day life. His poetry on what it would be like to be an inanimate object such as a tape dispenser. And his self-portrait. And if I only look at them on rainy days when I am looking to clean out my closets, to make room for the stuff from school years to come, it will be just enough.

Third grade, (and, for my daughter, High School) here we come!

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About stacylynngittleman

I have been a public relations professional and reporter -- and always thought I would live in the New York Metro area - before my husband took a job in Rochester, New York. Most in Metro New York can't find Rochester on a map,and neither could I before we moved. I am now a columnist and a freelance writer for Rochester's only daily newspaper, the Democrat & Chronicle. I also am passionate about gardening, fitness and most of all, Jewish education and Israel Advocacy. Here's my perspective on Western New York living - the good, the bad, and the snowy.

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