And my heart is full. Jackson graduates from preschool tomorrow at 11 am in the chapel of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church. He’s already revealed that the class will sing “Jesus Loves Me” and do sign language along with the lyrics. I’m bringing tissues for that part alone. I have no idea what to expect other than the song and my deepest desire that the school plays Pomp & Circumstance when the kids walk in. I think the last preschool graduation I attended may have been my own or Maggie’s.
It’s not that classic my-kid-is-growing-up/time-goes-so-fast feeling that’s really getting me. Although I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t nostalgia at play here. Jackson is my baby boy turned little kid. And yes, he’s going to full time school in a few months. After so much time spent together, he’ll be in school for more hours in the day than with me.
But no, it’s not nostalgia. It’s an immense feeling of gratitude. St. Mark’s is a school that truly lives out its vision. It’s a nurturing community that fosters a love of lifelong learning. That’s what’s advertised here and that’s what you get. And as someone who moved to Austin with only a few months before Jackson was to start nursery school, I am so grateful for St. Mark’s. I can vividly remember texting C.K. saying that I was going to write a check for the deposit while on the tour of the school. It was the treed multilevel playground that sold me right away. On that same tour I can also remember chatting with one of my now dear friends, Lindsay. We moved to Austin within months of each other. We were both pregnant–due only one week apart (with girls to match our boys). When Jackson and Lindsay’s son Grant started at camp at St. Mark’s the teachers asked if Grant and Jackson were cousins. “They seem like they’ve known each other forever,” one remarked. Just as Lindsay and I were kindred spirits, so were Grant and Jackson.
I soon found out that my friendship with Lindsay would be one of many. Because that’s how St. Mark’s is–it fosters relationships among adults and children alike.
So thank you, St. Mark’s Episcopal Day School…
- for nurturing my child and providing a safe environment for his growth
- for hiring teachers like Elaine, Kiki, Laura, Rae, and Becky and giving them the autonomy to utilize their incredible talents to the betterment of the students (those are just the main teachers Jackson had–every teacher is amazing!)
- for fostering a community of parents who truly enjoy each other’s company and work together to continue the stewardship of an already amazing place
- and personally, for providing me and Jackson with a place to anchor ourselves after we moved across the country and for making us feel very much at home
Kindergarten has a tough act to follow.
“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6
St. Mark’s lives this everyday.
And one more… “Play is the highest form of research.” –Albert Einstein