Friday 19 October 2007

Year 2 Harvest Festival

This morning we awoke to the cold of our first freeze of the season. The grass was covered in frost. Ice on the windscreens had to be cleared before the drive to school through the thick steam of fog rising from the river. It was simply beautiful.

Today was Sebastian's last and Abigail's first Pre-Prep Harvest Festival.

When the children graduate from Year 1 and move up to Year 2 they are reminded that they are now at the top of their class. They are the leaders of the Pre-Prep. They set the example for the younger children. This is a big responsibility. And today we saw how much they deserve this responsibility.

All the children have worked very hard to get to this day. Papers with lines, songs, and poems have been hung on refrigerators doors for weeks. As parents we have learned the bits for our children but are entirely unaware of how it all fits together. And then there are those surprises when you watch your child performing something you have never seen or heard before.

Their hard work paid off and they performed beautifully.

To the delight of all their parents, some children recited poetry they had written themselves. They sang several songs including one charming tune in French. They recited harvest prayers that again they had written themselves. They seemed to grasp the concepts of the celebration: they are fortunate and there are others who are not so. They gave thanks and prayed for those in need.

The teachers and their helpers have done an amazing job of preparing the children for this day. And in only 6 weeks!

All the parents were very proud of the children and their performance. They were all so confident. They spoke clearly and loudly. They sang like little angels. No one muffed their lines. No one got stage fright.

I have always found the Harvest Festival to be very emotional. I remember Sebastian's very first one. He was only 3 years and 4 months old. I was so tiny that even the smallest size school uniform was too big for him. He couldn't step up the risers without assistance. He stood through the whole performance on the corner firmly grasping the hand of Miss Griffin, the Head of the Pre-Prep. I'm not sure if he was scared and just needed her reassurance or if he was just so fond of her he couldn't bear to be apart from her. I reckon it was a wee bit of both.

Today I watched Sebastian perform. He wasn't scared. He stood amongst his peers. He sang confidently and spoke with authority. I couldn't stop smiling. I was so proud of him. We were all so proud of all of them. And in the end I shed a few tears. They are growing up so fast.

We are so lucky. And I am grateful.

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