My youngest just finished elementary school. It is bitter sweet. Bitter in that I’ll miss the innocence of elementary school, and all the milestones that occurred — learning to read and write, learning math, growing up and becoming a more independent person. I’ll miss the caring teachers, principal, and staff who all were vested in both my sons success. Sweet in that he is ready to leave and excited about what comes next.
It’s funny what you realize in these moments. My husband and my schedule will change — my son will be at a new school in the Fall with a new start time. We won’t be driving over near the elementary school as often. We won’t have a reason to be there. That can feel strange when it’s been part of your community for eight years (between both of my kids). I’m trying to accept the ending of this chapter and preparing myself for the next. Thankful the summer creates a nice break and an opportunity to reset and get ready for what comes next.
What moments in your parenting journey have been bitter sweet?
I will be away next weekend celebrating the holiday. Happy Fourth!
What was your child dressed up as for their first Halloween?
Both my boys went as pirates their first Halloweens. Black pants, white onesie with a red scarf threaded around their middle. Put on a small pirate hat and you had yourself one cute kid.
My oldest son decided last year he had aged out of trick or treating though I think he had second thoughts Halloween night. This year he’s definitely decided he’s ‘too old’ (and even after finding him a Rick and Morty costume — when he turned that down I knew he was done). My youngest is into cats, and found a leopard costume, so I get to experience Halloween at least one more year with my son.
Each year I wonder, will this be the last year? Why must time go so fast?
My boys are already thinking to the holidays and festivities beyond Halloween. Their excitement is contagious. It helps me get through the reality that they are leaving childhood behind (or will be very soon). And while this may be my last Halloween trick or treating with one of my boys, there will be other memories to make and milestones to look forward to.
How much fanfare surrounded your 5th grade graduation?
There was none for mine, and I don’t mean a little, I mean there was none, zero, nada. The general consensus was everyone should be graduating 5th grade or there was a bigger problem that needed to be addressed. Clearly times have changed, and now there is a desire to more frequently celebrate these milestones. I just didn’t know there would be so many activities. A graduation ceremony seemed a little over the top to me, but then I started getting the notices: Don’t Forget the 5th Grade breakfast, Don’t Forget the 5th Grade Field Trip, Send Pictures for the Baby Picture Wall, Who Can Help with the Legacy Project, etc. Wow, times have changed.
It has been fun digging up old pictures (though challenging after a long days work) and reminiscing around just how far we’ve come. It was fun going to the breakfast and catching up with other parents and recalling first days at school, and how our children, who were once very attached to us are now wanting their space. My son wanted me at the breakfast, but didn’t want to interact with me per se at the breakfast. 🙂 Not to worry, I remember being his age. I was pulling away from my parents as well trying to find myself, just as he is finding his. It is hard to believe that he’ll be moving up to middle school. I’ve relished the protective cocoon of elementary school and dreaded the day he’d move into a less protected space. He feels and I feel it. It’s hard not to acknowledge that time is passing and things are changing. And while I initially felt the school might be over-doing it with all the 5th Grade graduation activities, I’m appreciating it more and more. As the school year nears it’s end, I’m clinging to every day desperately wanting to slow time. My son’s growing up. Time will keep moving. I’m going to cherish every minute.
How are you celebrating your child’s milestones?
I will be off for the holiday weekend and back in July. Happy 4th!
I have friends who get bummed out when they turn a year older but I’m one of those people who love birthdays. I love all birthdays but mine in particular. It’s a day to celebrate and treat yourself. For me, it’s the one day a year I fully love myself and allow myself to be loved all day long. That may sound a little depressing I know, but don’t despair, I’m working on fully loving myself all the days of the year but that’s another story (and possibly book) for another time.
Last year was a milestone birthday year for me: I turned forty. As I prepared for the day I sought advice from friends that had gone before me. The resounding theme from pretty much everyone I asked was the same: that the forties were a great time in one’s life, that you will really start to get comfortable with who you are, and all the “stuff” we concerns ourselves with—like what we look like, where we are in life professionally and personally will all become less important. I was fascinated! That all sounded so freeing. Like many of us, I feel like I’ve been wearing heavy invisible chains most of my life: trying to be the right weight, look the right way, work hard to advance in my career, appear happy at all times regardless of how I’m really feeling inside, and the list goes on.
Now that I’m a year into my forties, I see that my friends were right. As my birthday clock readies itself to hit forty-one, I think about the year in review and smile. I feel like I’m continuing to get more comfortable with who I am and am much less concerned about things that used to monopolize my time. I am more honest and open about how I feel with my friends and seek deeper more meaningful connections with others. I’m happy with where I am, but still have a ways to go and I’m actually really excited about what the future brings.
No, I don’t like the idea of lots of wrinkles and I am dropping a bit more cash at the hair dresser than I used to, but these things also remind me of the road I’ve traveled to get here, and I can’t wait to see what I find on the road ahead.