We did a few scattered visits closer to home before summer drew to a close, ushering in the school year and "perfect the essay" time. My daughter was working part time last fall, and between her school schedule and her work schedule, there was no time for additional visits. The essay assignment came and went in English class, with the applicant never really satisfied with what she'd written. Thanksgiving break -- "perfect the essay" time -- also came and went with no further progress on the common app schools, but acceptances from those schools that required their own applications. Perfected common app essay or not, my daughter now had somewhere to go after graduation.
It wasn't until we took down the Christmas tree that it really hit me, and if I think about it too much right now, it's likely to run me over again. The last Christmas celebrated in just the way we've come to expect and perfect over the last eighteen years. A rite of passage.
And today, as I look out my window at the nearly three feet of snow that prompted a snow day, I have that same sense of finality again. Next year, there may be snowy days, but they won't be snow days. The closer we come to warm weather, the farther we travel from the summer of possibility. Spring will be filled with endings, in preparation for the beginnings that lie ahead. It's exciting, but it's also sad, a bittersweet celebration in which I finally understand why graduation is called "commencement."
But there's much to do between now and then, much to enjoy and celebrate.
Beginning with a snow day.