It brings back memories of my own school experiences, as a child. The excitement surrounding the upcoming winter break and Christmas - was the best feeling ever.
(Happy Birthday, Baby Jesus!)
Henry had a preschool performance where along with his classmates, he stood up on a stage and bravely belted out the words to, "Away In A Manger." He also sang another song that I'd never heard before but based on the fact that he was holding an evergreen figurine, I think it had something to do with Christmas trees.
(A choir of four-year-olds aren't very easy to understand.)
A year ago at this time, I was grieving Henry's rapid dismissal from his first preschool. A year later, I am so thrilled at the progress he has made and the love and attention that he receives from his new preschool.
Last year, I was told that Henry won't sit still. Twelve-months later, he still has trouble sitting still. But instead of getting booted out of school, they've placed a sock full of pinto beans across his lap. And it works!
All of the teachers are so wonderful to him that on the days he doesn't attend school, he cries. He is eligible for full-day kindergarten next fall, but Charlie and I have opted to delay his start by a year and instead, enroll him in the 5-day per week (3-hour per day) program at his current preschool. He is developmentally on track, but he is a very young four-year-old. (Which in my opinion, makes him a very adorable four-year-old.) The consensus is that he recognizes he cannot keep up with his siblings, so he reverts to the baby. Ultimately, we think an extra year under the tutelage of his devoted teachers, will be so good for him.
As for the triplets, Charlie and I volunteered in their first grade class today to help them make gingerbread houses out of graham crackers. I'm not sure how we hit the lottery on both school fronts, but our first grade teacher is amazing. Amazing to the point that she's widely recognized as one of, if not the best teacher, in the entire elementary school.
As a point of reference, she e-mails me every week. We've had four parent teacher conferences, wherein we discuss the progress of all three children, and it's only December. When I met with her last month, she sent me home with several of her own private school supplies so I could continue working with the children at home. She makes it a point that we're in this together. Her success as a teacher, is only possible if we work together as a team. And this woman with more than 25 years of teaching experience under her belt is a phenomenal team player.
In addition to giving her an insulated coffee mug and Starbucks gift card, the children helped me knit her an Irish knit scarf for Christmas. (Help = kids, can you please grab me another skein so I don't have to get up off the cozy couch?)
I know a lot of people opt to split their multiples up, but I am so glad that our three are together. They've developed their own social circles and are fully independent of each other. But they also look out for each other - in ways that their teacher says is the sweetest thing she's ever seen.
Today, when Charlie and I were both able to volunteer in their classroom, we were reminded of why it's so nice that they're together. We had Henry with us, but that awesome first grade teacher welcomed him right in to the fold. She made room at one of the tables so our four-year-old could make a gingberbread house alongside the "big" kids. (As I snapped off this picture, Elizabeth was saying, "I love it here and want to stay in 1st grade FOREVAH." I can't blame her.)
The teacher then invited Henry to sit with everyone during story time.
Which only lasted until his sister pulled him on to her lap and hugged him tightly. It's so nice to see how much she cares for him, in public.
When they're home, she'll hold him alright .... in a nelson.