Thursday, March 29, 2018

Noah's, "good-bye to the 6th graders" a farewell celebration type party, that the entire school had for them...

I'm so delayed posting on here. I'm so sorry to Noah most of all, because I put Branden's final 6th grade events up in a timely manner. And as for Noah...it's just...we're moving. So his posts are delayed by weeks. I'm so sorry Noah. And things in our house are hella busy. Yesterday, I went and renewed my drivers license. We've been busy talking with real estate people, in the state we're moving. We have our eyes set on a few cars that...we will probably buy 1 of those cars for me, to do all my driving in, in the states. Which means emailing absolute strangers about their cars. "Any problems with said car? Is it a clean title? Have you ever had any accidents in said car? Or do you know of any mechanical problems with said car?" Of course we will go and see a few in person and test drive them, look them over ourselves plus take them to a mechanic to look them over, whichever one we decide. In short. I have been calling the US on the phone a lot to talk to our real estate lady. Hoping we get the place, that we love and would like to rent. Not phoning anyone, about cars but emailing lots of emailing. Plus the purging of things in our house. Holy smokes...things are busy. Plus regular life too, you know what I mean? I'm still cooking dinner nightly. I went to do the weekly grocery shopping yesterday too. I feel like I've been on a hamster wheel... for the past 5 weeks straight...seriously. I'm not sleeping well. And in the day time, I'm busy *all* the time. Stressed out to the max...would be the freakin' understatement of the world!!! So just wanted to give that little real life update, before I start this post about Noah's "farewell celebration". Monday, March 5th, our school held a great big farewell celebration to all graduating 6th graders. In Japan it's called a "Rokunensei o Okurakai" And only 6th grade parents were invited to come and watch. All other grades from our local elementary, put on performances for the 6th graders. Sang songs for the 6th graders. Teachers sang songs. There was an emotional slideshow. Basically our school wants to show their love and support to the graduating 6th graders. Letting them know...just how very important each and every one of them were to the school. That they will be missed immensely. And good luck in JHS. It started at 9:30am. We were seated and I snapped this picture at obviously...9:33am...
All the boys from 1 class. Cheering and talking about how much they will miss the 6th graders.


The 2nd graders came out. And sang a song for Noah and his classmates. It was really sweet of them.

For the most part, the 6th graders just sat as audience members and enjoyed. Enjoyed the songs, the singing, the little comedy type skits. Us 6th grade parents, enjoyed it too.

This one grade had a few kids who love to dance and so the handful of kids from that particular grade decided to do a dance. They were really good. And I loved that they incorporated the school gym uniform too! Definitely showed some school spirit!!! Which I loved!
Another grade. So many classes said..."we will miss you!!!" To the soon to be graduating 6th graders.

I watched from the parents seats. And I saw Noah in his yellow sweatshirt sitting and enjoying the performances. I saw some of his classmates wiping tears.

These first graders came out. Remember...Noah and his classmates escorted them last April, on their entrance ceremony last year... when these kids were pika pika ichinensei last April. And Noah and his classmates would go down to the first graders class and help them prepare every morning. For a solid month, the 6th graders would go and shadow them and help and support them. They even went and sat with them for lunch. Two 6th graders each day, last year would go down and have lunch with the new first graders. Noah went down and ate lunch with them last May 2017. So...all the first graders were out. And these 3 speakers said..."thank you for helping us every morning!!!!" "And thank you for having lunch with us"...."thank you for helping us this year"....Many sitting 6th graders were crying at this point. I wiped away 2 tears. I held tough and didn't want to cry. But the sentiment was so sweet. 

The 6th graders stood. And all the first graders deeply bowed. It was deeply respectful and sublimely kind. Best first graders ever!!! So kind!

Then the teachers all spoke. And they also legit... sang for the 6th graders. Again...we live in rural Japan. With a town of under 5000 people. I am not sure... how schools handle graduation in the heart of Tokyo. But I do know how we handle graduation in rural Japan. It's with great love...community...it's takes a village type love, ykwim. And tons of celebrations and good cheer. You will most definitely know...you are loved...graduating in rural Japan!!!

A picture of our school frozen on the screen. And teachers spoke...and then they sang. And parents were crying. They 6th grade kids were meanwhile... I'd say 40% of the 6th graders were crying too. Kids from other grades were crying too. 

The 6th graders sang 2 beautiful songs. About getting older and growing up. This would be the last time this specific particular group of kids would be all together again. Ever ever!! This was so bittersweet for me. Looking at all these sweet amazing kids...that I've known since they were age 6. Full circle moment... for sures!

Then they sang their final song and then we wrapped things up with the slideshow. I told myself. Do not get emotional. Do not cry!!! But yep...I cried...I cried like a baby. 
Yes that's Noah in his bright happy yellow winter coat from the Gap. It had snowed and all the new first graders went outside to play in the snow together. Picture on the left. And in the summer they all played on this jungle gym. Just my eyes seeing all of these kiddos at age 6 again...on the big screen. All us parents were like...awwww. Yep... our kids as ichinensei.

When they were 4th graders. And they had a performance. And the teacher sent a note home...everyone wear a white top/t-shirt. I noticed the pic on the right, I could pick Noah out of the front row right away. And all the other little sweetie pies...that I have watched grow right up...with my son!!! So...super nice to see a blast from the past pic.

Farming on the right. Because well obviously... these kids are indeed growing up in the countryside. And the pic on the left is of Lily-chan on the bars....and all the other kids about to twirl around on the bars too.

Their 6th grade... over night stay. 
First person I picked out of this picture was Lily-chan. She's such a beautiful girl, flat out gorgeous and I always notice her immediately. This pic is blurry, so it's safe. She was in the pink shirt on the front row but more so... in the middle of the first row. And I always notice Noah immediately too because he's so western looking... and as white as chalk, as we all know. So, I zero in on Noah in his yellow sweatshirt immediately too. And I really adored this principal on the right hand side of this pic. He was so nice. He is no longer principal there. But he was very chill. Next thought of mine was...wow they were all *so* small and little and innocent and adorable.

Ninensei. Second grade. I remember blogging about the pic on the left. Noah brought home a note. Said all 2nd graders were required over the weekend to "make their own" fishing pole. The rules were that... it could *not* be a "store bought" fishing pole. It had to be homemade. And preferably from items already at your home. But you could spend money on it, but not more than $1.50!!! #1...I thought the idea and concept as a whole was brilliant. Talk about waste not, want not. Noboru and Noah went to the nearby farming DIY. It smells strongly of farming chemicals in the store, but also sells laundry soap...and sells veggie plants and flowers. Noboru and Noah picked up a green gardening stake....a long green one...it was like 78 yen or so. They used that as the fishing pole/rod. And that was all that was spent. Noboru lent Noah some fishing line...since Noboru fishes. And they sat on the front porch putting it together. Father and son. Noah was so proud. And that Monday...all ninensei went to school with their fishing poles. And after lunch, they all walked by the near-by creek. And the teacher and the kids spent the rest of the afternoon fishing. They brought their zarigani boxes/crawdad boxes, filled up some water in them. Not too much. They also sketched the surrounding tanbo (rice fields) and crawdads and the creek. They had a nature class and art class for the final 2 classes outside. The pic on the right is where their grade, was having a performance and asked all kids in class to show up wearing their yukata or jinbei. Noah wore his jinbei. : ) You know...watching this slideshow...I was reminded how fantastic and amazing...and what wonderful life experiences that my child got to experience... getting to grow up a country boy in the Japanese countryside. The sense of community. How much we value our children here. We do a lot!!! The sense of safety. Just watching this slideshow. Plus the music that accompanied said slideshow...and yes...I was crying my eyes out. 

My shy pale one on the right. Both of these boys, have older brothers, the same exact age and grade. So we have known them forever...and they have known our family...forever too. : )

These are pics of the slideshow. I chose to record this as a movie, versus take pics. 
And their final group photo as 6th graders. The 6th graders all filed out of the room and high fived all us parents. It was such a wonderful way for the school to say...good bye to the graduating 6th graders. This all happened on March 5th. The good bye celebration. I have to still get up Noah's actual graduation day. And I will. But it will be delayed. Because again...things are just really hectic here, right now. In a months time... everything will be over with. And we'll be in the states. But right now. I just have a hundred things to scratch off my list.  This is a positive move. It's a blessing and a good thing we want. It's just...wow moving is tough. It really is. : )