Recently we said goodbye to one of our students. Sandy is moving to Wisconsin. It is always sad at the end of the year to say goodbye. But I usually know I can peek into the kindergarten room to see them!
Not this time.
Besides preparing myself, I have to prepare Sandy and the other children.
First, we make a gift. This time, we took a canvas bag and used fabric markers to trace the other students’ hands on it. Each child wrote their name on their hand. Inside the bag we placed a children’s bible, a prayer card and a medal of St. Benedict.
(This year each classroom picked a patron saint. Surprise, surprise! My students picked St. Benedict!)
On Sandy’s last day, we presented her with her going away gifts. We took pictures of the other students for her. We also took pictures with her teacher. I emailed them to her mother. Then everyone student had a chance to give her a hug and say goodbye.
The children had many questions: Can she still come to play at my house? I’m moving to a new house too. Can I still play with my friends?
We talk about it. Sandy will be far away so it will be hard for her to come play at your house so it may not happen often. Yes, you are moving to a new house but you will still be living in the Quad Cities and going to Our Lady of Grace. Sandy is moving far away, so she’ll go to a different school. She won’t be going to Grace.
We talk until all questions are answered. Later, when some children get upset that Sandy isn’t coming back, we give them a little extra TLC. We need it too. Moving may be part of life, but it’s okay to be sad!