Dear Charlie,

This morning was the last day of your first year of preschool at El Cerrito Preschool Cooperative, http://ecpckids.com/.  What a year!

Since your Papa and I refuse to pay $50.00 for a yearbook, I’m going to put together a page of stuff for you to summarize your year at ECPC.

This your favorite teacher, Kathy.

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Here are your top 3 buddies:

ElijahCharlieThis is Elijah, your first BFF.  He was the self-designated leader of the  now defunct group called “Action Boys” whose masked and caped members ran around with their toilet paper roll guns and swords and bombs to capture “bad guys” and save mankind .   By the middle of the school year, the group dissolved and new alliances were made.  You and Elijah, however, remained close and continued to share trikes, sit next to each other at the snack bar, and show each other tricks.  I asked you at one point if you liked Elijah because he’s the only other kid at ECPC who  looks kinda like you with his dark hair and brown skin.  You said to me, “I’m not brown, Mama, I’m gray.”  I left it at that .  I heard, though, from both your teachers, that towards the end of the school year you started to prefer doing your own thing (e.g. hammering rows of golf tees on a Styrofoam; building Lego spaceships; drawing elaborate escape-from-school plans) while Elijah continued to run around with somebody else.  Elijah will be moving on to kindergarten.

JackNeighborJackCharlieThis is Jack.  He is our next door neighbor.  During the entire school year, I walked you both to school in the mornings; his mom, Annie, picked you both up at noon.  You loved going over to his place to have lunch with him, play with his many cool robots, and chat with Annie.  But then the lunches had to stop.  Annie told me that Jack started throwing frequent tantrums.   Despite that, you and Jack still play well together when you do.  Jack’s family will likely be moving away this summer.

IMG_2584This is Desi.  He is not yet four.   He was not a school buddy because he operated at a different speed.   You have been spending a lot of time with him lately, however, because he lives just across the street from us and you love to go over his house and play slip and slide with him, joke around with his dad, Marco, and play with his dog, Piggy.  He will be at ECPC for one more year with you.

As far as what you did during the year, here’s a summary in photos (sorry, I don’t know how to make the following photos align differently):

IMG_0248IMG_2572IMG_0313IMG_1113IMG_1148IMG_1251IMG_1341IMG_1398CharlieCopStarCharlieJackieCharlieDesiAlstonElijah

For a while your Papa and I struggled over the decision to have you stay at ECPC for one more year.  If you go to kindergarten this year, you would be the youngest in the class.  Although you are very smart and articulate and sociable, your Papa and I both feel that you will benefit from another year of play and learn to be the old wise leader of the group instead of being the young one always trying to catch up.  Also, we hope you would learn to sit down, keep still, and focus long enough to finish a task (like writing your full name which is quite long, thanks to my Filipino last name, Villanueva).  Several people have told me that you might be bored with another year of just playing, that you seem to be so ready to learn lessons and do homework and all that.  Maybe.  But you will have years and years of lessons and homework soon enough- why rush? We want you to dig some more, master the skill of building an indestructible moat.

As for me, I am glad I got to spend every Monday morning participating at the school.  Those Mondays gave me such an incredible view of the real and imagined worlds you inhabit(ed).  You are an amazing 4 year old, Charlie Thor, and I adore you!

And now on to summer!

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