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Students celebrate ‘last hurrah’

Editor’s note: La Jolla Elementary School parent Lisa Alexander shared her thoughts on the end of the school year as her fifth-grade daughter prepares to move to Muirlands.

BY LISA ALEXANDER

Contributor

From the moment our children came into the world, we have all worked tirelessly to protect them, teach them, guide them and, above all else, to make certain that every day of their lives they know that they are loved. With this immense responsibility also comes the joy of watching them grow. As we walk them down this path, there are moments of indescribable pride. With each milestone achieved, however, there are also moments of great poignancy. I know for myself, as I have been watching Lucy turn the corner from being a child to a quickly maturing young girl, these bittersweet emotions have risen to the surface in preparation of closing the door on her elementary school experience.

This year, a group of dedicated fifth-grade parents worked to plan an end-of-year event that would allow the children to experience one “last hurrah” at LJES — a place where, for years, they have felt safe, protected and nurtured, academically and emotionally. As with all inaugural events, this was no easy task to accomplish given the pre-planning required to manage the logistics, care and feeding of more than 100 children and their parents for more than 12 hours. But accomplish it they did, with tremendous grace and unbridled enthusiasm.

Parents watched with amazement as the children entered into this, their home turf, and saw it come to life in a way they had not yet experienced; a “wonderland” of sorts that — for one night only — belonged solely to them. No bells rang to return to class. No restrictions were placed on which part of the field could be theirs.

No shoes were required. It was a land of dance and music, wall ball and field games, tacos and cookies, and most of all ... friendship. But something unexpected happened on this night. We, as parents, were allowed into this magical place to see how they have played, laughed — and made memories — with their classmates throughout these past years. A priceless gift ...

The morning after, we emerged from our tents in various combinations of flannel pajamas, sweat shirts, messy hair and more than a few bleary eyes. But the joy was still there. No proverbial shoes dropped throughout the evening. No wheels came off the track. And, most importantly, no one would have rather been anywhere else at that moment.

It took a village to fulfill this experience. Many hands and generous hearts contributed to its success: e-mail senders, spreadsheet specialists, food servers, cooler haulers, tent builders, DJs and night watchman ... it simply could not have happened otherwise. But there in the wings, creating the backdrop, managing the stage, stood two brave ladies who took on the monumental task of designing this unequaled experience. It is with them in mind and heart that I express the following ... Brava, Natascha (Vossen) and Carrie (Morris). BRAVA!