The twins had their graduation from elementary school. It has taken me a bit of time to process the moment. Like many things, the anticipation was worse than the actual moment. I cried, don’t get me wrong, but I also felt very numb and resigned.
It had to happen.
There were a few events leading up to the big moment. Josh chaperoned his final elementary school field trip. I chaperoned my final elementary school field trip. There were rehearsals for the big day and a program to pull together and parties to throw. Each time I would think, this is it. That day I feared is happening.
I’m racing toward it, unable to stop.
The ceremony was lovely. The kids sang. They got awards. They walked across the stage and stated their favourite school memory and wish for the future. We watched a slide show full of pictures of their classmates from the last 6 years. The kids sang along with the soundtrack, bouncing around in their seats while they shrieked out each other’s names. I bawled seeing pictures from Kindergarten; their toothless smiles juxtaposed against the sea of braces across the aisle from us.
At the end of the ceremony, we walked through the school and the students from the younger classes lined the hallways and clapped us out. The kids began down near the Kindergarten and special needs classrooms and then made their way past the first grade and second grade and on until they passed their own dark classrooms and made their way out of the school.
It was the moment I’ve been dreading the most; the one I didn’t think I would be able to get through. I cried. I bawled walking down the hall, all the kids staring at me as I passed and whispering, “That’s the computer lady” and they applauded. I hugged their old teachers and said thank you. I thought about all the things I had done in that school, the shapes cut out of construction paper and the xeroxing and the book club meetings. And I said goodbye to the space, knowing that I would probably be back in that building again in the future, but it would no longer be our home.
I thought I wouldn’t be able to force myself to walk out the front door at the end, but there I was, putting one foot in front of the other. We had to hurry to make a lunch reservation with friends, and, once again, the reality of the moment was nothing like the anticipation of the moment. It was hard, it was bittersweet, but it also felt like what was going to happen. So I could either struggle against it or let myself be carried on.
I let myself be carried on.