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Challenge: Life Changes

Goodbye to Elementary

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This week is the last time I’ll drop her off at elementary school.

I remember sitting in the parking lot on the first day of kindergarten wondering how the time had gone so fast. What I didn’t realize back then was that time never had any intention of slowing down and how truly precious time would become. That week before school started, we practiced tying her shoes and opening the straw for her juice box. She had a Frozen lunch box she was so proud of and her backpack was almost as big as her. Sometimes she called it a 'packpack'.

Now her shoes are next to mine by the front door and I always have to look twice to make sure I don’t grab hers because our sizes are almost the same. The closet which once held so many toys is now full of clothes and she loves to watch Friends with me at night. She is now at the age of when I think I can translate the acronyms and slang, it changes to something else. I no longer have to kneel down for our pictures together like we once did because now she is almost as tall as me. She once walked out those school doors saying, “Mommy!”, breaking into an excited run the second she saw me in the sea of parents. Now I get a, “Hey mom,” as we walk together to the car. I don’t remember the first night she decided to read a book on her own rather than me read it to her. I don’t remember the first time she picked out her own outfit rather than one I chose one morning. There were a lot of little moments I didn’t catch in the moment – and maybe in hindsight, I might have cried if I had.

The end of this elementary journey is so different from where it started, even though it will start and end on this same playground. Part of me is in disbelief that these years went so fast, but part of me is in awe of what this next stage of parenthood is like. Now I see how funny she is and how quick she can be with her witty responses. Today I read a paper she wrote about the profession she one day hopes to have and her passion behind it. This week she introduced me to a new song I had never heard – and she was right, it was good. All week I have wondered when this almost teen replaced my little kindergartner. The end of elementary school is a a stage of in-between, but with a stark realization that time demands your respect.

This week I will drop off an elementary student and I’ll pick up a middle schooler. I’ll look back at the playground and I’ll wonder how it went so fast while she managed to become so much.

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