the end of disco

Since January, Mary has been warbling her songs for Spring Sing from the back seat of my car. “Turn off the radio! ” she’ll cry, “I have better songs!”

And she does,

“Ah courage, ah courage, do not get discouraged.
Ah courage, ah courage, do not get discouraged.”


“Trying, trying again. Like the man Abraham Lincoln.”


“When you’re determined you will find that life’s big hills will be easier to climb.”


“Enthusiasm, most folks say, is important in this life. To accomplish the things that you want done, and I’ll say ‘Yes sir! I’ll sure try!”

Her voice, those lyrics, have shaped my days and molded my thoughts. More than once I’ve recalled the truth that everything we need to know, we learn in Kindergarten.

looking nervous before the program

I’m always hesitant to tell people that Mary doesn’t go to the neighborhood public school. Rather, she is at the kindergarten associated with our preschool. Mormons always look down on paying for something that you can get for free and I’m afraid of appearing more extravagant than I already do.

But if you were to ask my honest opinion, I’d say that Discovery Kindergarten has been the best money I’ve spent this year (and if I told you how little it was compared to preschool in Texas, the out-of-staters would probably try to commute). My shy little girl has been nurtured and loved and now takes great pride in reading big-girl books.

For fifteen years, I’ve written an almost-monthly check to the same preschool/kindergarten. Every month, I shorten the name on the check to Children’s Disco.

And then I laugh aloud at my own joke.


Getting ready for the opening number “Onward Christian Soldiers.” Oh the woes of taking photographs when your girl is on the back row!

I made this collage to spare you the multiple photos and then thought, “Who am I kidding?”

Because you haven’t felt patriotism until you’ve heard it sung by a group of kindergartners…

or determination with mini-cheerleaders and football payers

or industry, with funky sock-puppet beavers.

Creativity is best expressed by tiny artists

and enthusiasm by little pioneers.

‘Courage’ made me teary.

By the ‘Small World” finale, she knew she’d made it.

Celebrating with her brothers.

The triumphant ride home,

and out to dinner

where Mary’s gorgeous cousin Mikaela reassured me that giggly girls never truly grow up.
May 6, 2010
May 8, 2010



  1. Tracy

    May 7, 2010

    Oh Miss Mary, I need to meet you someday. Swooning over the Jottum. Nobody wears Jottum like Miss Mary.

  2. Kerri

    May 7, 2010

    Two years ago ended up being our last year at Discovery when Kate finished up her pre-K year. I always assumed Ben would be a Discovery boy, and it’s more than sad to have to find another preschool. I hate to admit it but your pictures made me a little bit teary…

    But of course they also made me happy.

  3. Sue

    May 7, 2010

    I love those lyrics and wish I could have attended the program. I also love the way your cute daughter went from nervous to triumphant. What a great experience for her!

    And oh, those brothers!


  4. k hansen

    May 7, 2010

    What an adorable post! Where do you get Mary’s clothing? She always looks so cute!

  5. Tifani says...

    May 7, 2010

    The passing of another era at your house is celebrated with yet another beautiful post. Your writings and images will fill the hearts of your family for so long, Michelle!

  6. martha corinna

    May 7, 2010

    She has such pretty red lips! I love all the lyrics.

  7. Cath

    May 8, 2010

    My Eliza is at Discovery preschool. I agree – the love, the nurturing. Worth every penny. But I never considered the abbreviated version: Disco. Now I’m laughing at your joke too!

    Mary is beautiful and full of light. And the way her brothers love her – priceless.

    I will contact you Michelle. I’m about to get an ulcer trying to figure out a place to live right now. But I will get in touch with you next week.

  8. Linkous

    May 8, 2010

    happy days! we would love to hear her sing those songs the next time we get together

  9. Ken

    May 8, 2010

    Dear Miss Mary,
    Your kindergarten program was fun, inspiring and encouraging! I loved the songs, especially the patriotic ones. As I watched and listened to you and your class, I felt that the future will be bright since our grandchildren are learning true principles through music. Thank you for learning all the songs and actions. You are wonderful!
    I’m very proud of you!
    I love you!
    Grandpa Ken

  10. Denise

    May 9, 2010

    I can’t speak about Texas, but let me just say that one year of preschool here in NY is more than I paid for my undergrad degree at BYU. And I have 5…

  11. Rachelle

    May 11, 2010

    The pics bowled me over, as always. Wonderful!

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