This time of year is a hectic one for those of us who work in schools, and as an education reporter, June is by far one of the most hectic times of all. However, one of the things I enjoy about June in particular, is the fact that I am asked to cover many types of graduations, moving up, moving on and farewell celebrations.
In the past ten days or so, I was blessed to witness a fifth and sixth grade farewell, a preschool graduation, a fifth-grade farewell, a middle school honors night and two high school graduations. At each one I really had no connection to any of the people being honored and yet I had goosebumps at every event, and felt my eyes well up on more than one occasion.
For you see, at each event, as I watch the parents and the students enjoying their special moments, I am reminded of my own family and of my own life as a parent.
I am reminded that no matter how hard we try, how hard we hope and pray that time will slow down and maybe even stop for a bit, that life marches on and every day, every beginning and every end of the school year, brings forth change of some kind.
And I try to remind myself that change is good, that these are celebrations and happy times.
Each day as I watch my oldest walk out the door to the school bus, I can still see her on the very first day of kindergarten, getting onto that bus in her little sandals, with her backpack on her shoulders. As I sat at the middle school honors night last week, I watched the students who will be leaving middle school for high school and realized that next year that will be her.
Where does the time go?
I think I sang “Six Little Ducks Went out to Play” the loudest at the preschool graduation last week, as I thought of my baby, going into third grade next year. Wasn’t it just yesterday that we were at her preschool graduation? Weren’t we just singing that song for each one of them at their own special preschool ceremonies?
I watched this year’s fifth-graders say farewell to their elementary school last week, it struck me that my middle daughter is going to be there in a blink as she moves onto fifth grade next fall. I am thankful that our school goes up to sixth grade for elementary school because I know I won’t be ready for her to say goodbye to elementary school just yet when next June rolls around.
I need more time.
But it is the high school graduations each, that hit me like a ton of bricks every year. We are moving so quickly towards that goal and I sit there every year thinking that soon this will be us. That soon these will be our daughters graduating high school and then college.
My dad recently told me that my college graduation was “one of those moments” that is forever burned in his brain. The sight of me walking with all the other grads into the ceremony is one he said he’ll never forget.
I don’t know if I can wrap my head the fact that these types of milestones will soon be our own. I don’t know if I can stand it.
But as I listened to each of the graduation speakers this weekend, both students and dignitaries, the resounding theme to each of them was change.
And how change is inevitable, but that change is good.
And so, as another graduation season comes to a close, all I can do is take their word for it.