Every student, staff, and teacher lines the school hallways and extends their hands. They form a long and beautiful tunnel.
The 5th graders–who have graduated and will leave elementary school and journey on to Middle School–walk through the tunnel of cheers and tears.
It’s the school’s goodbye.
The 5th graders cry and hug. They are growing up, and they know it.
My own sobbing daughter and I walk arm and arm for the last time out the very same school doors we nervously entered six years ago as a kindergartner and her crying mother.
The thunderstorm has ended and the sun breaks through so the sky is part storm, part blue joy.
It’s half and half, I tell her. Life is like this. You cry because something is over forever, but you’re moving on to the new joy ahead.
Meanwhile, life is lined with that tunnel of hundreds who see you, love you, and are part of your growing.
She’s growing up, and so am I.