With every spirit day that happens at my children's school this year, I realize that for my daughter, this one will be her last. She will graduate fifth grade in the Spring and head to Middle School next year. She is ten, and has been at the school longer than she will be at any one school in her future. She has many close friends, and a comfort level in the school, as it has been her second home for quite some time now. This year I am watching her enjoy every last second of school. She participates in every extra event that is available to her, and she and her peers walk around as upper-class(wo)men this year with a pride that is well deserved.
She will be ready for middle school, and it is no surprise that I might not be ready to send her. The flip side of being a emotional, sensitive person for me, is that it also brings over-thinking, and an ability to be overly sentimental. Change is good, healthy and necessary. I just feel like time, since having children has moved faster than I have ever felt it move prior. I never once in my 29th year, said, "Oh, my twenties have flown by" because they definitely didn't. My husband reminds me that I need to figure out a way to see the bright side to these big changes. I am happy and proud of my children when they graduate to the next stage, but I just also mourn the loss of the end of a chapter.
Having older parents also reminds me daily of the passing of time. My parents are slowing down, and we are no longer able to do the kind of things as a family that we used to. There is some element of denial for me with this. I keep thinking when this ailment passes we can take that trip together, or when she feels better she can play outside with my kids again. The reality is the opposite. They won't get better, they will get worse. Watching this happen to loved ones makes it really difficult to not feel existential thoughts. It does make me savor every second, and makes me want to sit still a bit more.
My last few months have been so busy that I am having a hard time believing Spring is almost here. There have been swarms of beautiful painted lady butterflies swarming the streets here. It is unlike anything I have ever seen before. It stopped me in my tracks, made me realize the turning of the season, and provided me with a moment with my children to step out of ourselves and look around. It was magical. We may not get swarms of butterflies everyday, but I am sure I can find some daily miracles that can make me stop and look around each day. My parents are coming for a visit next week and I am sure all of us all together will find a lot of those moments.