Riker's absolute favorite thing to do at recess is ride the red bicycles. (Photo by Tivani Wong.)
Riker's best friend's mother recently tagged me in this lovely post on Facebook written by Tivani, the mother of a Co-op preschooler who'd I'd never met before.
"During the first semester of Caitlin's preschool, when I picked her up from school at one o'clock, she'd always ask to play in the playground for at least half an hour or so, and every day, there were these two boys who liked to come over and chat with me, they told me about their t-shirts, their watches, their backpacks, their drink bottles (they also tried to show me their backpacks and drink bottles), and Riker liked talking about the new numbers they just learnt in class, and we would giggle. Once Riker tried to tell me his address so Caitlin and I could visit him (we live in Turner too)! Very cute."
Riker and his best friend Charlie R. (Photo by Tivani Wong.)
"One day while I was picking up Caitlin from school, she wanted to finish her painting, so I sat there with her and Riker came over to check out her painting. He said to her, 'it is beautiful.' I thought he was very sweet."
Caitlin and Riker. (Photo by Tivani Wong.)
Then, small world that it is, Tivani and I discovered that we (and our children) have mutual friends. They live next door to my friend Sarina who we met way back in birthing classes in preparation for the arrival of Saskia and Riker. I was tickled by Tivani's description of Riker as a boy with "the sweetest smile and a gentle soul" and was also pleased to learn that Saskia had said that Riker is the only boy she actually likes. Proud mama moments.
Fortunately we were able to arrange lots of play dates with Charlie before our departure.
Riker's lovely teacher, Caroline says farewell on his last day.
The class presented Riker with a book they'd drawn for him with adorable farewell messages.
On Riker's last day I brought in popsicles as a special treat and as Riker handed each child their icy pole, they were asked to say a farewell message as well. These ranged from "I love you Riker" to "I'm going to come visit you in America" to "Will you marry me Riker?"
Another difficult thing about leaving is having to make decisions about the fate of various objects including craft projects. This caravan is Riker's crowning achievement at Co-op kindy and since he worked so hard on it for weeks, it was difficult to part with it. In the end, I decided that it would be best to suggest that he offer it to his nanny Coral as a gift. Thankfully he understood we couldn't take it with us and he was happy to present it to her.
Many thanks to the lovely staff, students and parents of the O'Connor Cooperative School for making us feel welcome and showing Riker what a joy school can be. Here's hoping we can find another terrific school back in the US!