Before I start writing down the making of a great goodbye party for the principal of my big kid’s school I have to pause and practice mindfulness:
I am conscious of my great fortune, my health and my children’s health. I am fortunate to have this life with all of its challenges and the strength and energy to turn each challenge into an opportunity. I am grateful.
Back in February, I was approached by one of the teachers about the plan for a series of events in honor of the principal’s retirement after 21 years of service to this school. I was fascinated from the first moment I heard about what was intended. It wasn’t until March when three of us from the PTA were invited to participate in planning of this grand event. We – a dozen representatives of parents, teachers and students – had a total of three meetings. Lots of great ideas were already collected. Each to showcase the many hobbies of the principal: playing the organ, music in general and his love of the classical languages. The ideas presented all sounded great but what caught my attention immediately were the decorations! Indoor and outdoors were requested. As the grand event was scheduled for the 4th of July I had an easy visual, too! Stars and stripes and red/white/blue!
Before I knew it I was to make 30 Roman tunics for Latin students who were to greet and escort the Principal and his wife into the auditorium the morning of the festivities. Furthermore, the Greek & Latin teachers were planning to induct the principal into the Mount Olympus! I had no idea how to make a Roman tunic, a Greek goddess gown or let-alone a TOGA… but a few books later, lots of hours of browsing the world wide web I did what I like to do the most: Go fabric shopping!!
(hundred of yards of plain white fabric… and hours of cutting…)
As the planning, shopping, result presentation went on my list grew longer and the time until the big day came closer and close… Because I had decided to help make this day as perfect as possible I recruited my aunt’s help.
It was helpful to have a professional sewing machine on hand as well as the additional serger I purchased to help make things easier.
Once the 30 tunics and the toga were done I was relieved but also excited that the adult-size gowns left a little more room for creativity and the bling bling here and there!
(many hours spent browsing the world wide web in search of the perfect Roman attire)
(epaulets for the gentlemen)
(vintage gold buttons for the ladies)
(many fittings and tweaking followed until the perfect one-size-fits-all male and female gown was complete)
The gowns each had a hand sewn vintage button and gold ribbon detail. The flowing soft tulle was my favorite detail. Laundering and pressing all 50 plus costumes was less fun I have to admit…
Once all the sewing was done the only thing left was to coordinate the reception after the show. The catering of food and drink from two different vendors, making sure enough water and champagne glasses were on hand, all the decorative details like table covers, banners outside and flowers on the tables … It was a last-minute push and great teamwork between the school and parents as well as outside vendors to get it done.
I am grateful that in this process I got to work with the student body presidents. It was a great bonding experience – one that I will always cherish in my memory.
Despite the many months of sewing, laundering, ordering, purchasing, discussing, reading, fitting, planning the moment I saw all students lined up in front of the auditorium ready to greet the principal was worth it all.
The icing on the cake was the moment when the teachers were on stage and inducted the principal into the Mount Olympus.
These last 4 months of working on this project made me realize once again how very passionate I am about working with and for kids – my kids but also my kid’s community. My work ethic paid off greatly beyond this single event and I know for sure that my spirituality and my optimism drives me to work hard and live a purposeful life. My children fuel me. I continue to pray for their physical and mental health.
Now, it’s time for me to step outside – literally – and dive into the Baltic sea. Summer break 2018 is finally here!
Wishing you sunny days.
P.S. My intention for this event was to be useful, helpful and be a problem-solver, to be an inspiration by being loving, giving, and be grateful despite all the work. Goal achieved!