Rites of Passage

A nine-year stage of life has ended. As of today, neither of the kids in our household attends the elementary school that is half a mile south of our house. I didn’t realize till later that my walk to and from the “fifth-grade celebration” would be the last time I’d enact that lovely ritual, at least as an active parent, for … ever? Many kids, parents, teachers, and school administrators were getting teary, including my son and me. One of the dads asked me how I was doing and I said I deliberately didn’t wear mascara that morning and he said he didn’t either.

What’s truly sad for my son is that a good portion of his close buddies will be going to a different middle school. This is life. It’s not a huge city but when you’re a kid and you don’t drive it really does affect your ability to see your friends. Of course now there’s texting, Xbox live, and much more.

Saw the daughter for about 30 minutes total yesterday. She had two celebrations after school, arriving home on foot with a buddy around 10 as prearranged, and then quickly finagled a sleepover at the buddy’s house. I’ll pick them up after theatre today. She seemed happy and calm. Independence seems to do her worlds of good.

The grownups on our street gathered for a block party, with fifth grade grads and their visiting parents making up a big chunk, and lots of littler kids filling in the spaces. The weather was perfect, clear and not too hot. We are very lucky to have such nice neighbors.

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Filed under family, home, parenting

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