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Jun 16

End of Elementary School

Julie graduates sixth grade tomorrow.

There are a couple of different ideas working around in my brain right now. The first is that she’s done with elementary school. It’s a significant milestone. Elementary school is different from middle school and light years away from high school. That ability to step in, to email her teacher, to fix whatever is going wrong in her life – it’s not mine any more. There’s a gradual transfer of control and moving out of elementary school kick starts that into high gear.

Julie’s childhood is bifurcated by both the accident and by covid. The accident changed her, and covid changed her again. I think I’ll forever feel guilty about the accident, about it’s impact on her, and while I know I did my best to minimize the trauma, there was so much. It was just so hard, on everyone, and for my little five year old baby girl, the repercussions seem to go on and on. And then covid – it threw everything for a loop. She lost everything, all at once, and had to rebuild.

I love the way she’s created her life. I love her humor and her empathy. I love the way she instinctively cares for everyone in her world. I love watching her come into herself, owning who she is and how she wants to exist in the world. I find her endlessly fascinating, and I love hearing about her day, about her choices and her challenges.

Another huge thing that I’m achingly aware of is that I’m done with elementary school. I don’t even know how I feel about that. Am I happy? Relieved? Wistful? I’ve had a child in elementary school for the past 13 years. I’ve done book fairs, school dances, library duty, lunch duty, recess. And now suddenly, that’s over.

Although all three of my kids have had/are having such different experiences. It’s not just that they all attended different schools, they’re all such different personalities and approach things in such a distinct way. Maybe it’s wrong to assume that I have any idea what middle school for Julie will be like. Her elementary school experience was completely different from Sam’s, and from Jessie’s.

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