The end of the school year is always interesting. There's the succession of meetings which leave me feeling as though I've accomplished something...until I return to my office and see how many things piled up in my absence. There are the kids who ostensibly want summer vacation to start NOW, but whose stress over the end of an era makes itself know in petty little spats with classmates and tearful arguments between friends.
The end of the school year is, as has been mentioned by many valedictorians and graduation speakers, both an ending and a beginning. For kids in good home situations, it's the beginning of picnics and vacations and lazy days at the pool. For the kids whose family budgets are tighter, it's backyard cookouts, neighborhood water fights and community park programs. For the kids who lack a family altogether, it's the end of a stable routine and good-bye to many friendships until fall.
The end of a school year brings changes for adults, too. Teachers say good-bye to children they've nurtured and taught for nearly a year, and begin to make plans to do it all over again next year. Rooms are packed up, bulletin boards are taken down and dreams for the next year begin.
No wonder it's such a roller coaster. Hellos and good-byes collide, endings and beginnings overlap as we ride the highs, lows, twists and turns. At the end of the ride is summer vacation, and at the far end of the amusement park, barely in focus, is a brand new set of rides, some familiar, and some yet to be discovered. But the trip across the park that we'll take this summer will get us ready, so that those rides, so full of promise, will be both a challenge and an adventure.
Till then....I'm off to another meeting! I'm hoping for the carousel, not a roller coaster.