Today is the end of a great era in my life. My oldest child started kindergarten in 1998 and my youngest finished elementary school today, which means I spent 16 years as a parent of an elementary age child. You might think my youngest child graduating from elementary school would mean the end of an era in my children’s lives, but no, it’s not that exactly. Yes, each time my kids left their 6 years of elementary school and went on to middle school, there was a huge adjustment – bigger school, more classes, more homework, more mean kids, puberty (!), bat and bar mitzvah…but kids are resilient. They make new friends, grow, learn, adjust, and they are ready for high school when the time comes. For me, on the other hand, it is a different change. Moms make their friends when kids are in preschool: on the playground and at story time at the library and in mommy and me groups. When the kids are in elementary school, we are on PTA boards, volunteering at book fairs, spaghetti dinners, and in the classroom, and we have a core group of moms (and some dads) that are right there with us for years at a time.
And now, it changes. Where I grew up, there was 1 high school. So, if a parent is volunteering starting in kindergarten, the parents are a constant all the way through the senior year of high school. In my community, the kids from our elementary school go to 7 different middle schools and then transition to 5 high schools. The mixing up of the student population is crazy, and you never know if you will meet up with the parents you knew and volunteered with in elementary school. That’s how I feel…I will miss those parents who I got to see all the time who now are going on to a different school and maybe we will never meet up again. Maybe we will see each other on Facebook and maybe our kids will end up in the same high school after our 3-year hiatus at middle school. It’s exciting and sad at the same time.
What will I do in 7 years, when my son graduates from high school? Only 7 years. How time flies. Good thing I get along with my husband 😉