Today was the last day of school for Maria, Shane & Cale. But it was also their last day of school in the Hudson (Wisconsin) School District. It was bittersweet … the kids are feeling a bit blue and sentimental on leaving Hudson Schools and their friends here, but at the same time are very excited to attend Singapore American School.
Maria started kindergarten in Chicago, but we moved over Christmas and she finished that year in Hudson. So she has had 9 years in this school district, more than we thought she would get. The boys have had all of their 7 years of schooling in this district. We always knew that there could come the time where we would maybe move again, and we always said that we would not move when the kids were in junior high or senior high. It’s just too hard on the kids to leave their friends behind, to try to fit in and make friends at a new school could be traumatizing. This opportunity we have to make an international move is too irresistible. And so here we are, pulling the rug out from under our kids, right smack in the middle of their junior high and senior high school years.
All three kids attended Houlton Elementary … the “country” school in our district. With only two classrooms per grade, and a student:teacher ratio of 15:1 being the norm, it was a fantastic experience. My kids thrived at Houlton Elementary, and will always name their teachers from this school as their favorites. (Natalie Thorson, Tess Rizzardi, Mary Wicker, Lisa Wasson) .
Today the kids finished up their years at the Hudson Middle School.
I can hardly believe that Maria had her 8th grade “Fare Thee Well” ceremony yesterday. Where has the time gone? My baby girl is now a freshman! She will complete at least the next two years of her high school experience in Singapore. How is my teenage daughter feeling about all this? She says she is very excited and looking forward to it. But the idea of starting a new school in a new country is very romantic … it sounds wonderful, but realistically it will be very challenging. Maria is very smart, and excels in her studies, and is extremely outgoing. I have no doubt that she will do well in class, and make lots of new friends. We will work hard to continue to nurture her relationships with her American friends. With all the technology the kids use these days, it makes the world seem a lot smaller. I am so thankful for that!! Maria will be encouraged to use technology to stay connected with her friends here in Hudson. Facebook, Instagram, Facetime, Skype, texting, emailing … the tricky part will be the 13 hour time difference. Here is a picture of Maria (in bright pink) with only a few of her girlfriends.
Today the boys finished up their 6th grade year, the first year of junior high, with a field trip to the Minnesota zoo. I was invited to be a chaperone, and I have learned that when the kids want me to participate, I drop everything and go. I had 8 boys in my group, and I loved every single minute of it. We spent a lot of time watching the monkeys, (here we go with the monkeys again) , in the food court and then the gift shop, where all the boys bought the 7 foot long stuffed snakes. They proceeded to wrap the boas around their necks or smack each other non-stop with them for the rest of the day (but wisely refrained from belting me with the plush critters). When I say these boys had swagger, it is an understatement!! Here is a pic of some of their friends. (yes, they were drinking mountain dew, yikes). Shane, Cale, Cordell, George, & Cole.
Shane & Cale are very much looking forward to their adventure in Singapore, and will also use technology and social media to stay in contact with their Hudson friends. These kids aren’t as much into it as much as Maria and her friends, so it may be a bit more challenging to stay connected, but I feel confident that these boys will make it work.
Trent and I pray that Maria, Shane & Cale are able to make this transition to a new country & a new school easily. Sometimes I worry about this move … my kids are excelling in their school work, have wonderful, kind, like-minded friends, and are in every sense, thriving in the Hudson School District. Why would I mess with such a good thing?
And with that, the Blinkman kids closed this chapter of their lives, ready to move forward to the next chapter. Singapore American School begins August 12th for them. Our very short summer begins tomorrow, and we will kick off Summer ’13 at Valley Fair Amusement Park! Stay tuned!!