My son had his last Open House at his elementary school. He is graduating to middle school. The night was a typical Open House. We enjoyed a concert by beginning and advanced band and orchestra then off to see his classroom. This was the first year we didn’t need to visit the next year’s classrooms. We are the top class. We squished around the full desks to see the projects posted on the walls and hanging from the ceiling. Like I said – typical Open House. However, after we left his classroom, we decided to say hi to a few of our favorite, former teachers. That’s when Open House changed from a celebration of completion to a grieving of what we were leaving behind.
I have been a mom of an elementary kid for the past 11 years. Letting go of this school, seemed easy until Open House. As I chatted with former teachers, I remembered my girls’ experiences at this same school. I walked into a lower grade classroom when a mom friend said, “why are you here? You don’t have any little ones.” It wasn’t an attack it was an observation. I explained we were saying goodbye to an old friend. I got sad.
With summer starting, it means change is coming. A new school in the fall (well, August is the new fall I guess). A new schedule. A new clothing style (no more uniforms). A new drop off point. A new pickup location. A new amount of homework. A new set of teachers to meet. A new PTSA to join. Old patterns will be replaced with new ones.
As I write this blog, I’m hopeful. The changes I listed are ones I look forward to. Summer will be a season to prepare for change and to release the past. I will grieve the loss of elementary life. It is very different from middle school and high school. I will grieve the loss of convenience to see former teacher friends. I will plan lunch with a few that I can’t let go of. I will grieve the simplicity of homework and friendship drama. I know middle school holds a whole new level of both of those things.
What are you letting go of this summer and preparing for in the fall (a.k.a. August – can you tell I don’t like school starting in August?)? Whatever it is, soak in the present and move toward the future. I plan to enjoy the next few weeks of school and embrace the calm of the first few days of summer. I’d love to hear what your changes are that are ahead. We can encourage one another in the comments.