It’s the night before fifth grade graduation and I’ll just warn you that I’m awash in sentiment. It hit me when I went to pick up Caroline from school that this was my last day to wait in the elementary school carpool line. And I think more than anything I just can’t believe how fast the years have gone. It really just feels like a few days ago that she was this little girl in a pink monogrammed dress heading off to Kindergarten.
And then first grade.
And then the beginning of this year.
Someone warned me when she started Kindergarten that the years would fly by when put on the pages of a school calendar and I’ve found that to be so true. But the truth is I love where we are right now. I like having a big kid.
She’s excited about what’s ahead and so am I. At the end of last year I couldn’t even imagine sending her to junior high, but she’s grown up so much this year in so many ways and I know she’s ready. It really dawned on me as I watched the talent show last week. She and her friends planned their routine, found their costumes, scheduled practices on their own, and they did it well. It was a new level of responsibility.
Last night she woke me up about 3 a.m. because her stomach hurt and she felt like she might be sick. I got up with her and we curled up on the couch for a while before we eventually ended up in the kitchen waiting to see if the nausea would go away. And she began to talk to me, really talk to me. About life and friendships and what’s important to her right now. I listened as she covered everything from going to summer camp to her thoughts on God. And after about thirty minutes she said, “Mama? I think I’m feeling better but can I talk to you some more? I like talking to you about all this stuff.”
And it just felt like a gift. A reminder that for the little years we’re leaving behind that we have sweet years ahead. I know we won’t always see eye to eye, I realize it won’t always be easy, but I am so proud of who she is becoming and can’t wait to see what’s next.
But that doesn’t mean I won’t be wiping away some tears at fifth grade graduation later this morning.