Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Lining Up, Promotion, The Future

They all lined up.

About 300 8th graders stood in line to receive their promotion handshakes, certificates, and photographs. Suits and ties, new shoes, new dresses. A Big and Special Day. I was reminded of the James Taylor song, "Line 'em Up". All those amazing lives, all clumped together in one place. If we had time to listen, what stories they could tell us.

I am never ready for these sorts of things. They thonk me over the head like I never saw them coming in the first place.

Its the end of the school year, and it always seem to hit me before I can prepare. Its a time of change; the end of spring, the beginning of summer. Bittersweet endings, yet new beginnings. This year my feelings and emotions are different than other years. I have blogged about kids growing up, and the changes at the end of the school year here, some time back. But today, it feels different.

We have one high schooler ending her junior year; senior year coming up. Big Decisions ahead. This will be an interesting year for her, and for all of us. In less than 18 months, we will hopefully have a child off to college, and all the emotions and excitement that go with that. Our family population will be reduced by 25%, not to mention the noise level, that should be in the range of a 50% reduction!

And now, our younger girl is finishing her time at Middle School, and oh, what a ride. Academics that were challenging, great teachers, great friends, the school play for three years in a row, volleyball, softball, and soccer. What a life!

Today, I dropped 14-year old Heather off in front of the Middle School for the very last time. I watched her walk up the steps, never to return this particular way again. It was then that I remembered those last days of both of our girls, first at Marengo Elementary, and then here, at the Middle School. Fleeting moments in time. I pulled away from the curb, smiling to myself; thankful for the years past, and looking hopefully to those ahead. The past is beginning to softly fade, as are our memories of the Junior High years.

What an amazing ride this is, this life. Today, my heart is very full.
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