Oklahoma City family fun helps us through transitions sometimes.
May is almost here, with graduations and end of school. The nostalgia this season brings seems to come in the door along with ceremony announcements, after-party invitations and requests for baby photographs. It always feels like too much is happening this season, dizzying with its last tests, field trips and final grades.
My fifth grader is headed to middle school next fall and he's getting ready to leave friends behind and move on with a new era of life. Everything is in a rush but I do think we need to slow down and enjoy this last month. In our case, he's leaving behind six friends for a new schools setting with more than a thousand students. There's going to be a big change here soon so easing into it seems like the way to go.
If you're looking for some last-hurrah activities with pre-teen friends, here are four suggestions to enjoy with friends before life marches on:
- Host an end of the year party: Not sure where? Check out our list of local venues that would be ideal for a group. A gathering doesn't have to be complex, just come and go.
- Watch the stars: One of the best get-togethers I've ever attended with children was a stargazing party. If you have a telescope, great. If not, no problem. Tents, backyard marshmallow roasting, pizza: the mess was self-contained and no one worried about anything more than lending a restroom and finding the constellations.
- Meet up at the movies: If you don't want to worry about playing host, meeting for a movie is easy and allows your pre-teen the chance to have some independence. Sitting in a different row is enough separation for now.
- Do a yearbook and cupcake exchange: Cupcakes draw a crowd. The way they stack up on tiered stands makes for a pretty visual, whether they're homemade or storebought. Trade a cupcake for a compliment by placing a stack on a table outside the graduation ceremony area and encourage kids to say something nice in writing that will last longer than the day's flowers and speeches.
This season isn't always easy to navigate as a parent. What we forget is that it's new for us too, this era of change.
No matter what your thoughts on kids growing up, whether they range from joy to wistfulness, I hope May goes well for you and yours as a prelude to all that comes next.