The End of an Era

Welp. Graduation looms. My youngest will walk the stage tomorrow, receive her diploma, and then it’s off to Penn State in the fall. I felt that twinge of sadness on her last day of school. Then I felt overwhelming nostalgia when she marched down the elementary school hallway in the traditional parade of seniors as all the children clapped for them. I suddenly pictured her as the very kindergartner who stood in front of me, clapping and cheering for her future self. The seniors swished by in burgundy gowns, and then it was over. Parents hugged, took pictures, and gave each other knowing looks. It’s over. This time in our lives is over. The era of rushed mornings, packed lunches, homework help, after school snacks, school performances, family dinners—all of it, over 6,000 days of ordinary family life—is now gone.

There’s a grand new adventure ahead. I look back and then look forward. I’ll still blog, but I’ll think back to all I won’t do anymore (even though I haven’t for a while anyway): I won’t paint acorns, walk to school, prepare the Warm Welcome Snack Platter, or check the nests with a girl’s hand in mine. I won’t fold laundry in neat stacks, return library books, call for bath time or pull on Halloween costumes. I won’t clean up sprinkles and frosting from at least a thousand cookies made over the years. I won’t hang up swimsuits to dry, pop the popcorn for family movie night, or watch Ashley flip the Saturday morning pancakes. I won’t plan birthday parties with balloons and favors and favorite flavors of icing. I won’t tuck anyone in. It’s been a wonderful life raising children. You raise them, and then they leave.

Just as they should.

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