Los Angeles, California: Dave and I went back to Los Angeles Thursday. Big Weekend. Leo, who was born just a few weeks ago, is moving up from elementary school into middle school. I have written before that ages from birth to age 8 seem to take eons, but ages 8-18 go by in a flash. This is also true with grandchildren. There was a nearly a full-day celebration at his Pre-K-through-high school academy (where Lucile also attends), and tons of private parties with friends after. We would not have missed this chance to celebrate Leo.
I brought dinner (taco soup) and we had a fun family dinner around the table, laughing and excited about all the activities planned for the weekend. The kids have officially finished with their school work for the year, so no homework tonight. It was an early night as we had to leave the house at 7:30 Friday morning to get to school, park, and find seats in the auditorium to watch the performances, speeches, and the actual graduation ceremony.
The show began with the youngest children and progressed to the graduating 5th grade. The theme was "The 80s" - which Dave and I always claim to have missed entirely having lived much of that decade overseas (before the internet!). We don't really know the music, or understand references to television programs. Rock and Roll was the genre of all the tunes today and the kids were dressed in their finest 80s attire. Leo (5th grade) accompanied the second graders on his guitar to I Wanna Rock, finishing his solo by playing the strings with his teeth, bringing down the house. Leo wore a Metallica tee shirt. The 3rd graders sang Journey's Don't Stop Believing, with Lucy pounding out the last verse. She finished on a high strong note, to great applause. The 5th graders finished off the show with (of course) School's Out for the Summer, and closed with a quieter tune, Change the World.
After the musical performances, everyone except the 5th graders and their guests left the auditorium, returning to their classrooms for parties. Each 5th grader (about 30 of them, in two classrooms) were brought to the podium one-by-one. The students gave a quick few-sentence speech about what 5th grade meant to them, and then their teacher glowed-on about how wonders of each student, and how she enjoyed having them in her class. Lots of tears were shed. Leo's teacher ended her talk to him with a reminder to send her tickets when his band played at Coachella. So sweet.
After the graduation ceremony, family and friends were invited to join the students in a courtyard for a reception with wonderful appetizers, fruit and sweets. We all posed for photos:
Wow, are we proud of Leo. He really has blossomed this year after transferring to Lucile's school. He had to leave his old friends, make new friends, and make big adjustments. But he did it and he thrived. After the children attended several end-of-year parties, Leo chose sushi for his graduation dinner (of course). Another momentous day in family lore.
Saturday morning, we were all up early and off to Lucy's last Little League game of the season. Lenny coaches the Cubs and his daughter wears #1 on her jersey.
Little Lucile is quite the hitter and she is really fast around the bases. The game is coach-pitch at this age, and Lucy never had to resort to using the tee today. She hit two doubles, one single and scored three runs. Lucy is one of two girls on the team.
After the game, we had donuts and the coaches (Lenny and Andy) handed out trophies and ribbons to the Cubs.
I can't tell you if they won or not, or how they finished in the league. No score-keeping at this age, and everyone gets a trophy and ribbon... and donut.
But this weekend of fun doesn't end here. We are taking this party to La Quinta. The kids came back to the desert with us. Apparently their parents have these things called jobs
and picketing, so we are going to entertain Leo and Lucy for a while. Will we give them back? Who knows. The minute we arrived, both kids were immediately in the pool. Swimming makes a person so hungry.
More swimming after dinner, followed by (home-made) strawberry ice cream (with chocolate syrup) in the hot tub.
SPORTING NEWS: Duck men are in the regionals for college world series, and the Coachella Firebirds are 2-0 in the ice hockey Calder Cup (AHL version of the Stanley Cup). Amazingly so, as this is the Firebirds first season.
Stay tuned - our adventure has just begun!
Until my next update, I remain, your very proud Bubbe correspondent.