Saw this while driving this morning…
We have a street in our neighborhood which is lined with crab apple trees, and for about a week and a half every spring, they bloom and it’s like driving down a pink-and-white flower tunnel (smells good too). Then it rains, and the curbs are striped with rosy apple blossoms. Sigh. The end of an era (okay, a very short era). It was fun while it lasted.
This month, we’re encountering a few bigger endings. My daughter graduated from college a few weeks ago in a huge 1200-student ceremony at the University of Minnesota. Where did those 4 years go? She is done with dorm life, maybe done with academia (we’ll see), and is now back at home, trying to figure out the next step.
For me, an even more significant ending happened yesterday… my youngest is graduating from high school and had his last day of school yesterday. Last Day of School. Our last day of dealing with K-12 public schools. Last day of getting this non-morning-person out of bed every morning…
Last day of making school lunches…
Last day of bugging him to do his homework (yippee!). Last day, last day, last day.
Thinking about the Last Day telescopes me back to the First Day… the round-cheeked kids with pint-sized backpacks and cardboard nametags around their necks. And all the years in between– the good times of school concerts and field trip days, the not-so-good of homework battles and teacher conflicts. Even though today it feels like “where did the time go? Where is that little boy who was just here?”– in reality, it has been a long sweet road of ups and downs. It’s just rather surprising to be done with that part of the journey.
There are forks in the road now— for my son, who will take the turn toward college in the fall. But for me too– I’ve been a mom of kids for years and years now, with all the daily dig-in-and-get-my-hands-dirty that babies, toddlers, kids and teens require. And while I’m still needed as a mom of young adults, it’s not the same. Not so hands-on. Not so hourly. I’m sad to have my kids’ childhoods come to and end, but it’s an opening, too. For all of us.
I haven’t yet decided what I’ll do— there are many directions I can go at this point. I’m still letting the endings, the celebrations, the wistful thoughts sink in. I’m lucky to be here, to have had the experiences I’ve had, even the hard ones. I’ll break in the new trail as I go. I’ll look fondly back at the path behind me.
It was fun while it lasted.