Pomp & Circumstance, Preschool Edition

Okay, you can officially add among my list of previous judgments before having kids “the ridiculous over-the-top graduation ceremonies they do for barely-something-to-celebrate things like preschool.” Because you know what I found out the cutest thing in the world is? Ridiculous over-the-top graduation ceremonies for barely-something-to-celebrate things like preschool.

Can you handle it? Because I CANNOT.

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After spending the weekend in Ojai for my Spark Retreat, I woke up at 3:00 yesterday morning to get the earliest flight from L.A. to land just in time to run home, braid my travel hair and grab a new camera battery before heading to Nella’s preschool graduation ceremony.

I should add my dad took one look at my hair and dress after we parked and said, “Wait, I think there’s a separate parking place for covered wagons.” It continued all night with “Where do the prairie moms sit?”, “Is this reserved for the Ingalls Wilder family?” and so forth. Compassionate family, we come from.

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But this little thing–this tiny celebration is the beginning of so much more. The foundation of Nella’s education journey began in this sacred place with wonderful teachers and friends and constant accommodations to help her learn in an environment that looked a lot like the world outside its colorful walls–diverse and open. From Day 1, we were told “we will listen, we will love her, we will change things up to help her learn.” And I can carry that nugget in my pocket for years to come.

And last night, as Pomp and Circumstance started playing and I made her out in the procession down the aisle, all smiling and waving, I whispered “Sweet Jesus” and a few other swears under my breath until Brett reminded me, “CHURCH. We’re in a church, Kelle.” It’s just I never forget that day–the one I thought that maybe I didn’t want to do this, that it would be too hard. The one when I forgot that when it comes to your kid, love will obliterate the “too hards”. I remembered the day again and thanked my lucky stars that it fell on us.

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Also, we’re totally recreating this picture with all her graduations in life. There will be many.

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And if enjoying last night wasn’t enough, a few more we’ve been drinking up. From Gasparilla Island…

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The kids gathered floating coconuts and threw them over the dock over and over and over.

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Dash started bringing them in twos.

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These last two weeks? We’re in The Gauntlet, folks. The recitals, the final projects due, the half-ass efforts to finish this school year with the simple goal of STAY ALIVE. We can do this. Summer awaits. God speed.

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Leave a Comment
  1. Melissa says:

    Your dad’s comments crack. me. UP. :) Also, Nella looks so confident and so beautiful in these photos. Just perfect.

  2. Heather Kulaga says:

    Guilty! I used to just roll my eyes. Until…my kid was up there. Then you just look at them and think – every eye must be up on MY CHILD because they are so perfectly wonderful in every single way! Not prejudiced at all. I think it’s an opportunity to step back. The night before when I was ranting about cell phones and they were rolling their eyes and I was thinking, “Why are my kids turning out this way?” just fades into the background when I see them from afar — even picking them up at school, to see their heads emerge from the throng, the two of them sauntering toward me will always always lift my heart and remind me that my kids are the best ones in the world (apologies to all other kids everywhere). Graduations, concerts, plays – they’re all just crafted moments to help us stop and marvel once again at these, the ones that are our very very own. Love to you! We are skidding toward the finish line of the school year here too. Messy. :)

  3. Janet Allen says:

    I have followed your blog since before Nella’s birth. Congrats on her graduation! Onward and upward she goes. It is so amazing to observe the many doors the birth of Nella has brought to you! She opened doors in life for your family that you didn’t even know there were doors for. Love , sweet love, is by far the greatest gift little one has given…

  4. Holy Cow, does Dash ever look like Brett in those pictures!

  5. Congrats big girl! Here’s to many more milestones. Way to go!!!

  6. Jeanne P says:

    She’s on her way!
    My daughter is an elementary Exceptional Ed teacher. I hope Nella’s future teachers are as passionate as my daughter is about her students. When her students succeed and soar, her heart is bursting with pride and love (the teacher’s Mom feels the same way). She received Mother’s Day gifts from parents who told her she cares for their children like they were her own.

    I hope you have a wonderful relationship with Nella’s future teachers. The good ones will do everything possible to make sure her school experience is happy as well as successful.

    Congratulations to your family for creating a wonderful world for Nella. You might never know how many families you are inspiring by your example.

  7. Good God that is cuteness overload!! Someone once said, You are what you celebrate and that is definitely worth celebrating!!!
    Your hair looked pretty btw.

  8. Nella looks so sweet and happy! One of many celebrations you all are going to have in her life. I’ve been following your blog for a long time and it is a treasure and inspiration.

    Congratulations dear sweet Nella! Love & hugs ~ FlowerLady

  9. Oh, Ella, I am so proud of you. I have loved following your milestones from your mummy’s posts for a long time. You just warm my heart. Congratulations.

  10. When my brother (with DS) graduated from HS the crowd went crazy when they called him name, they cheered louder for him than anyone else in his class. It was such an awesome moment!

    The video is buried in this post (I’m not crying, you’re crying…) http://busyboldblessed.blogspot.com/2013/07/remember-when-i-used-to-write-blog-posts.html

  11. Doesn’t every parent think that way about graduations/promotions – until it’s their kid?

    Congrats Nella!! She looks so grown up! So does Dash with his hair cut

  12. Dawn Henry says:

    Dr Seuss- Oh the places you’ll go. Get it even if you have read it many times. Put Nella in the middle of it and gain new perspective. I Love it! I read it to my daughter when she graduated High school and now I have a good friend who has a severely handicapped daughter and when she was telling “her Story” she read this book as she realated it her own life with her daughter and it was powerful without a dry eye in the house! Nella is Gorgeous ! I see a future for her that will change lives!

  13. Aww man. I haven’t been reading blogs for a while, but what a post to come back to. Congratulations Nella!

  14. So beautiful!! Thank you for sharing. I totally relate, by the way. My kiddo is still only 3.5, but he’ll be in his first-ever performance in a couple of weeks, and I just am on pins and needles about it! That (like preschool graduations) is something I once considered ridiculous and superfluous… no longer. :)

  15. Congrats to Nella!!! She looks so freaking adorable. And to Poppa…LOL!
    Kelle, you looked great. I love your dad.

  16. Alyssa Palaia says:

    Hey Kelle,

    Love your blog and your fun, upbeat style of writing! I have been reading you blog and following you on social media for years now. I have also read Bloom and cried during a lot of it. I appreciate your honesty and ability to be very real. You tell it like it is and you don’t sugar coat things. I love watching your little ones grow and seeing all the fun things you do with them. I don’t have kids, yet, but I have to agree with your laid back, but still outgoing parenting style.

    Also, I am a special education teacher and I love seeing how involved in Nella’s education you are. Many parents leave things to the teacher and expect amazing things to occur, but amazing things occur when people work together for what is best.

    Keep up the good work as a parent and as an advocate!


  17. Marnie morgan says:

    BRAVA, Nella!

  18. What a proud moment!

  19. You have a gorgeous site and wonderful pictures. I thought you might be interested in this article I just wrote, https://nanmykel.com/2016/05/21/dark-ages-looming-for-the-intellectually-challenged/

  20. Jillian says:

    Is it just me or is Dash all of a sudden 16?

  21. as always you have hit it right on the head of the nail. Love your dads comments and I thought you looked just grand! God bless all your kids and I look forward to graduation blogs on all of them right through college – if that is what they choose to do.

  22. I love this sentence: …when it comes to your kid, love will obliterate the “too hards”. What a beautiful thing to remember. Thanks for writing it :)

  23. This brought me to happy tears!

  24. Yay Nella! :)

  25. Vanessa says:

    You are such an inspiration to moms everywhere! In moments of doubt for my son and his future, I turn to your blog and remind myself that anything and everything is possible. GO NELLA!

  26. Kelle, your blog has completely changed my perspective on having a child w/ DS. I’m pretty sure my childbearing years are behind me, but I can honestly say that if I were to have another child & that child happened to have DS, I would be just as thrilled w/ that baby as any other. Before I started reading your blog, I’m sure I would’ve had the same reaction you did when Nella was born (as most parents initially would), but your blog has not only educated me, it has opened my heart to the pure love & joy that accompanies a child w/ DS. Nella is a beautiful little girl, & she clearly brings so much happiness to the rest of your family. Thank you so much for sharing her w/ the rest of us.

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