My children's elementary school does something for the last day of school that brings me and many parents close to tears.

I distinctly remember coming out the door of fifth grade on my last day of school at Cambridge Park. Just waving goodbye to some kids...and then walking home to begin summer. With no fanfare. Well my boys' elementary school (Pre-K through 8th grade) does something really exciting for both the kids and parents.

Sure, many schools have end-of-year class parties on the last day of school, and we are no exception. We (class moms) get pizza for the class and gifts for the teachers, while the kids sign each other's yearbooks and play games.

But then, instead of just letting them all walk out the door for summer, there's a special tradition at MES.

The Principal gathers all 750-ish kids into the gymnasium.

The anticipation is tremendous. Parents sit in the bleachers, children are on the floor, teachers stand on the sidelines. The chorus sings a few patriotic songs and the whole school joins in until everyone is singing at the top of their lungs.

The chills start. The teachers who are retiring are given applause and recognition....and then the kids know what's coming next.....

The principal calls for quiet (which isn't usually an easy feat with that many kids) and makes the official announcement that school has ended for the summer.

And the roar that goes up in the crowd literally has all the parents in tears. It is such a cute way to see this moment of pure joy on the faces of our children, and release the pent-up excitement of the school year FINALLY coming to an end.

By the way, I asked my fifth grader if the last day of school is his favorite day of the year. His reply? The last day of school is tied for second-best day of the year along with his birthday. His favorite day of the year remains Christmas.