School's Out For Jess!

It's true: Jess finished school two weeks ago and wow! I've got to say that I felt just a little bit older when I got home from her Graduation Walk at school that day. No, seriously, you guys, what a milestone! I've now got an 18 year old kid who is finished school (except for her final exams, of course)! It feels like just the other day that I was taking her to baby music group and play school, and now she's off to University!

She went from being this cute kid, who started her schooling in South Africa:

To becoming this super cute and grown up young woman, graduating in New Zealand:

And what a happy day that was for her! End of an era, indeed. (We moved to New Zealand when Jess was 11, and she has spent 7 years at this school - starting Middle School in Year 7 and finishing now at the end of Year 13 in the Senior School.)

Her school has a lovely tradition that has all the Year 13s walk together from the Kindergarten campus through to the Senior School, past all the school students, teachers, deans and principals, who high five/hug/wave and clap them goodbye as they go past. It's such a sweet idea, and quite emotional. The Year 13 group also bury a time capsule and the boys do a Haka on that last day of their school careers. 

Here is a group photo of the Class of 2016, from the school Facebook page:

Jess is in the second row, in the middle, just behind the girl in the front row with her legs out straight.

And here are a few photos of Jess and some of her friends (the ones I happened to get photos of), on that busy and exciting last day, which started with breakfast at one girl's home and ended at school later that day:

I'm really proud of this daughter of mine. She's had a wonderful, international school career, and has come out of the experience with a solid, all-around education in many different areas of life - academics, sports and cultural fields, friendships and self-growth. She's a bright, thoughtful, kind, resilient and determined young woman who will continue to find happiness and purpose in the next phase of her exciting life.

I'm so looking forward to watching her continue to grow, learn and flourish. And I'm so happy that I get to call her mine. x

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