I'm Lindsay Ferrier, a Nashville wife and mother with a passion for family travel, (mostly) healthy cooking, exploring Tennessee, and raising kids without losing my mind in the process. This is where I share my discoveries with you, along with occasional deep thoughts, pop culture tangents and a sprinkling of snark.
May 16, 2018
I still remember my oldest stepdaughter’s final year of elementary school. Everything she did that year was treated in our family as a Major Milestone, requiring all of us to drop what we were doing and Be There for every single event, cameras at the ready. There was her last music performance. Her last Fun Run. Her last Halloween party. Her last Christmas party. Her last Valentine’s Day party. Her last field trip. Her last Spring Celebration. Her last Field Day. I was there for all of it, struggling to hold back tears as I softly hummed Sunrise, Sunset to myself and took a million and one pictures of her every blessed move.
At the grand finale — her fourth grade graduation ceremony — I, along with most of the other fourth grade moms, was a complete mess, sniveling in the pews of the big church across the street from her elementary school as each child marched across the stage. From all the wailing and gnashing of teeth in the audience that day, you’d think these kids were headed on a one-way flight to Antarctica rather than five minutes down the road to the local middle school.
Fast forward 12 years to our fourth and final child’s elementary school graduation. Same school. Same church. Same mylar balloons and banners decorating the stage. Same tears in my eyes as I watch my child cross the platform and receive his graduation certificate — The only difference this time is that the tears I brush from my cheeks are freaking tears of joy.
“I’m free,” I mutter to myself incredulously as the final fourth grader shakes the hand of the principal. “I can’t believe I’m finally free.” It’s all I can do not to bolt from my seat, throw my program in the air and race up the center aisle and out the door, whooping for all I’m worth.
Hey, elementary school? It’s been real. Like, really real. But between our four kids, I’ve spent more than a decade wandering your sticky halls for themed lunches and book fairs, Read-A-Thons and Spelling Bees, Spirit Days and Art Nights, fundraisers and festivals. I know where all your staff bathrooms are and I know how to use your lamination machine. I’m on a first name basis with your teachers, your cafeteria monitors, your secretaries, your crossing guards, and your bus drivers. I know waaaay too many of your secrets and scandals (Why do people insist on telling me these things? WHY?!), so it probably comes as something of a relief that it’s finally time for me to move on — but not before I say a proper goodbye.
Goodbye, Room Moms and Box Top Moms, Lunchroom Moms and PTA Moms, Field Trip Moms and Fundraiser Moms. Some of you were awesome and made my kids’ school way better. Some of you have become lifelong friends as a result of the time we spent together. But some of you seriously need to get a life. Yes, Room Mom who unfriended me on Facebook after I bought my own Christmas present for the teacher rather than contributing to your Classroom Arbonne Basket. I’m looking at you.
Don’t get me wrong — I’m all for volunteering — but if your entire social life revolves around your kid’s elementary school, it may be time to reassess your life choices is all I’m sayin’.
So much for that stirring rendition of ‘I Taught My Turkey How to Tango.’
Look, I don’t want you to think I’m a complete curmudgeon — I’m not. I am, after all, the one who wrote this piece of weepy schmaltz. A part of me will definitely miss elementary school and the wonderful teachers and staff who made it an almost entirely fantastic experience for all four of my kids. We’re lucky to live near an amazing public elementary school and I’ve convinced more than a few people to send their kids there.
But yeah. After 15 years of elementary school, I’d say enough is most definitely enough. How about you?